Coulthard at front of grid for Texas V8 races

GUY HAND
Last updated 05:42 19/05/2013
Fabian Coulthard
Getty Images
AT THE FRONT: New Zealand Holden driver Fabian Coulthard gives the thumbs up after taking pole for the first of four 100km races at the US round of the V8 Supercars.

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Holden driver Jamie Whincup has given himself the perfect opportunity to extend his V8 Supercar championship lead, booking front row starts for both races at the Circuit of the Americas today.

In an unusual qualifying format, with two back-to-back 15-minute sessions determining separate grids for the day's two races, Whincup was second fastest for race one and will start on pole for race two.

Holden driver Fabian Coulthard qualified fastest for the first race and third for the second.

Whincup's flying session two lap of 1min 32.0311sec is the fastest posted so far on the Circuit of the Americas - the venue for the V8s' first event in the United States.

He will start alongside Red Bull Racing teammate Craig Lowndes on the front row for race two, with Lowndes second fastest in the second session.

Whincup leads Ford rival Will Davison by 65 points in the championship going into the weekend's four 100km races - the latter two scheduled for Monday (NZ time).

Davison qualified fifth and seventh for the two races.

Nissan driver Rick Kelly posted that manufacturer's best qualifying effort since joining the series this year, qualifying sixth for race two.

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