McLaughlin, Lowndes on pole for Perth V8s

Last updated 18:13 17/05/2014

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It's set to be a battle between youth and experience in Perth on Saturday, with Holden veteran Craig Lowndes and Volvo young gun Scott McLaughlin locking out the front row of the grid for the weekend's opening two V8 Supercar races.

McLaughlin outpaced Lowndes by a mere 0.013seconds with a blistering hot lap in the first qualifying session at Barbagallo Raceway to secure his third straight pole position and fourth of the season.

"It's a massive surprise for me - we didn't really have the car (during practice) yesterday," McLaughlin said.

"I'm just driving it as hard as I can."

Their positions will be reversed for the second 100km sprint, with Lowndes to start from pole and McLaughlin second.

Long-time racer Russell Ingall put in a surprise performance to qualify third for both races in his Holden.

The morning proved not so great for championship leader Mark Winterbottom, who only managed to qualify eighth and fifth fastest for Saturday's events.

Winterbottom holds a 107-point advantage over Lowndes after a successful round at Auckland last month.

Lowndes is chasing history this weekend - a win in any of the round's three races means he will usurp Mark Skaife's all-time record for most victories at a single track.

Teammate and five-time defending champion Jamie Whincup struggled to find the pace that put him in the top three during practice on Friday, qualifying 11th and fourth.

Whincup is normally the master of qualifying at the Western Australian circuit, with a record seven pole positions - equal with the late Peter Brock.

He was also the winner in two of last year's three races in Barbagallo.

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- AAP

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