Ford’s Cameron Waters has smashed the Bathurst 1000 qualifying lap record to claim Supercars pole for Sunday’s great race at Mount Panorama.
Touted as a genuine contender to win the 161-lap race for the first time, Waters dominated the top-10 shootout on Saturday in his Mustang.
His time of 2 minutes 3.559 seconds eclipsed former Tickford teammate Chaz Mostert’s lap of 2.03.789 set last year.
It was Waters’ fifth career pole, setting him up for a tilt at winning with star co-driver Will Davison, a two-time Bathurst 1000 winner.
The 26-year-old Waters pipped three-time champion Scott McLaughlin, who has stamped his mark as one of the Supercars’ greatest qualifiers.
Mostert, who switched to Holden this year, was the fastest Commodore driver in third to start alongside Nick Percart on the second row of the grid.
Seven-time champion Jamie Whincup’s testing relationship with Mount Panorama continued as a mistake near the end of his lap saw the Triple Eight legend finish 10th.
Waters completed his first solo race victory at Tailem Bend last month and has carried that hot form into the season finale at Bathurst.
“That was absolutely awesome. Knew the car had something special in it, but just had to put it all together,” Waters said.
“This is so special for all the boys at Tickford. They’ve earnt their piece in this whole period we have been away so this (pole money) will go towards beer Sunday night.
“I made a few little mistakes, but the car was just hooked up. The boys have done so well to give me something like that.”
Fords on the front of the grid is the last thing Holden supporters want ahead of the red lion’s last Bathurst race in an official capacity before the brand is retired by General Motors at the end of this year.
McLaughlin claimed his maiden Bathurst victory last year but that result ended a run of four-straight Holden wins dating back to 2015.
The start time of Sunday’s race has been brought forward by 30 minutes to 11am AEDT with rain and storms predicted to descend on Mt Panorama.
BATHURST 1000 TOP-10 SHOOTOUT RESULT
1. Cameron Waters (Ford)
2. Scott McLaughlin (Ford)
3. Chaz Mostert (Holden)
4. Nick Percat (Holden)
5. Shane van Gisbergen (Holden)
6. Lee Holdsworth (Ford)
7. Anton de Pasquale (Holden)
8. Fabian Coulthard (Ford)
9. James Courtney (Ford)
10. Jamie Whincup (Holden)