Ford Performance Racing drivers Craig Lowndes and Glenn Seton will start the Sandown 500 from fifth on the starting grid after the top ten shootout and qualifying session at the Melbourne circuit.

Lowndes set the fifth fastest lap time in the closing seconds of a wet qualifying session, and then repeated the feat in the shootout, which was held in sunny and cold conditions on a partially wet circuit.

"Circuit conditions were changing all the time during the shoot out and it would have been good to move up further," he said, "but as it got drier the circuit became faster for the guys after us.

"Starting from the inside on the third row will allow us to keep out of trouble in the first turn so it's a good result just the same. Glenn and I are very happy with the car so all is looking positive for tomorrow."

However, it was a different story for Ford Credit FPV Falcon drivers Alain Menu and Adam Macrow, who were caught out by an engine failure in the closing stages of the morning practice session.

This forced the team into an engine change between practice and qualifying that only allowed Macrow four laps in the closing moments of the session. They will start from back in 34th place.

"I basically went out there and kept it on the track in the few laps that I had in the wet conditions," Macrow said afterwards. "I used the time to make sure the car was right for tomorrow. It was unfortunate not being able to get out for the whole session so the most important thing was to make sure that the car was in good shape for the race following the engine change. Although there wasn't the time to generate enough heat in the tyres to set a fast lap in qualifying, the car felt strong and I can't wait for the race."

FPR Chief Engineer, John Russell was pleased to see Lowndes and Seton near the front and he hopes they can build on the performance in the race.

"Certainly an eventful day for FPR," he said. "Excellent to see Craig and Glenn qualify so well, which we hope will help us translate to a solid race result. Adam and Alain suffered from a hurried engine change that only allowed Adam two timed laps in qualifying. We look forward to tomorrow and to seeing what the usually eventful Sandown 500 brings us."