Red Bull's Craig Lowndes gives himself the best possible opportunity of recording an historic 100th V8 Supercars victory after netting a third-straight pole at Tasmania.

Lowndes has been on a different level all weekend long at the Symmons Plains circuit and his herculean stranglehold over the event shows no signs of abating ahead of the third and final main race of the event.

The Red Bull drivers 51.7978 second effort - set during his final run of the longer 20 minute session - wasn't the quickest lap of the weekend but was still enough to give him the optimum starting slot for the 84-lap race.

Lowndes should face a tougher test in today's race as tyre management and strategy will play a critical role in the outcome of the result.

This time David Reynolds was the Triple Eight Holden's closest challenger in second after The Bottle-O FG X's best effort just fell a fraction short in second position.

Defending champion Jamie Whincup posted a time good enough for third on the grid to ensure he still remains in the hunt as Erebus' Will Davison joins the Red Bull Australia driver on the second row in fourth.

Davison couldn't quite hold the provisional front row slot he gained with five-minutes to go as his Mercedes E63 ultimately was unable to match the surges from Reynolds and Whincup.

Tekno Autosport's Shane Van Gisbergen completed the top five while Chaz Mostert - who set the pace during the morning's practice session - starts sixth for Prodrive Australia.

V8 Supercars rookie Andre Heimgartner once again made good use of his new Falcon FG X to qualify in seventh position with Holden's Garth Tander closely shadowing him in eighth.

The Pepsi Max Crew Ford of Mark Winterbottom and Team BOC's Jason Bright completed the top-ten despite the pair both having set times only-three tenths off Lowndes' pole-position run.

Championship leader James Courtney was the session's biggest loser in twelfth having previously qualified his Commodore in third position for the first two races.

Courtney's point lead could well come under serious threat if the Clipsal 500 winner fails to draw closer to Lowndes, who's Tasmanian exploits have firmly planted him into the title race in second.



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