Ford Performance Racing (FPR) now has twice the chance of pole position after a post-qualifying penalty for another driver elevated Will Davison into 10th, giving him the final spot in the top 10 shootout which will also feature Mark Winterbottom.
Earlier in the day the team's three co-drivers took to the track for the first session on a damp but drying track.
Slicks were quickly the order of the day as Steve Richards, Luke Youlden and Dean Canto circulated, with Richards coming out best in third place.
The next session was then the domain of the team's regular drivers with Winterbottom, Davison and Paul Dumbrell returning where they made final preparations for qualifying.
In the race against the clock all three were in the top 10 for most of the session with Winterbottom regularly in the top three.
Dumbrell improved his car throughout the session and despite being, along with Davison, one of the two fastest cars across the mountain, he was bumped out of the shootout spots near the end of the session.
Davison looked safe in the 10 until a late flyer after the flag bumped him from 10th to 11th.
Winterbottom was faster at the second intermediate on two occasions but was unable to grab top spot, eventually finishing second, a mere 0.05s off provisional pole.
Davison was elevated to 10th some hours after the session following a penalty for Lee Holdsworth. The penalty also elevated Dumbrell to 11th.
(The following quotes were taken prior to Davison being elevated into the shootout).
Mark Winterbottom & Steve Richards – #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon
Practice 4: 2m10.50s - 3rd
Practice 5: 2m07.76 - 3rd
Qualifying: 2m07.71s - 2nd
"We were strong today. I was up on the second sector twice but just snagged a tyre into The Chase, but that doesn't matter and we are in the shootout so that is the main thing that matters. We changed the car a little bit and things improved in slow-speed corners, though we gave away a bit across the top so if we can marry up the two things we will be even stronger. Tomorrow's one lap doesn't mean a lot for Sunday but it is still nice to be on pole position Saturday night and it gives everyone in the team a boost. We'll go and tweak the car now and see if we can find a bit more before the shootout."
"It was a fantastic lap by Mark to get the car into the top two and to just miss that provisional pole - as agonising as it is, it isn't the end of the world. Qualifying wise - tomorrow's the day we need to worry about, but they don't award the Peter Brock Trophy for pole. I feel really good in the car, there is nothing in it among the top teams. I can relax and let Frosty do all the work tomorrow, though we will do some preparation for Sunday during our practice session."
Will Davison & Luke Youlden – #6 Trading Post FPR Falcon
Practice 4: 2m11.26s - 9th
Practice 5: 2m08.21s - 8th
Qualifying: 2m08.19s - 11th (now 10th)
"I'm very disappointed to miss the shootout but in the context of the weekend it is meaningless. That said I would still love to be there tomorrow afternoon so I am massively disappointed to get bumped right at the end. We were in the 10 almost all session and I gave it everything even though I wasn't entirely happy with the car. PD and I were the two fastest cars across the top so that is encouraging and I am sure we will be there when it counts on Sunday."
"It was reasonably tricky in my session given the conditions as it was still quite damp. Despite the conditions we still had a great car which is a credit given how much the conditions changed across the session. It was unfortunate that Will got bumped right at the end but we are definitely not out of it. We have an hour in the morning to work on the set-up and obviously with car #5 right up the front we have that data to look over as well so we are confident."
Paul Dumbrell & Dean Canto – #55 The Bottle-O FPR Falcon
Practice 4: 2m11.98s - 17th
Practice 5: 2m08.85s - 17th
Qualifying: 2m08.24s - 12th (now 11th)
"We didn't have the best car at the start of the day but we chipped away at it throughout the day and improved a lot. Bathurst is notorious for being a track where your last run on your last set of tyres produces the best time. You can throw caution to the wind and let it hang out across the top which we did and given Will and I were the two fastest cars shows our result today wasn't from any lack of trying or commitment. We just lost too much time at the bottom. There is a bit to do to make it a nice race car but we have that time tomorrow now and we will focus on getting it right for 161 laps on Sunday."
"This morning we weren't going to go out unless it was dry so given the fact it was nearly dry at the start we went out at the tail of the pack to do a few exploratory laps on slicks. It was quite dicey early but the crossover point to change tyres came quickly so we just took it easy and logged some laps to make sure the car was ok on full tanks. We struggled at the start of qualifying though we made some changes and he dug deep near the end and put in a much better lap. Paul was fastest across the top of the mountain so it shows how committed he was. We got knocked out at the end but we are only one spot behind Will and we can now concentrate on the race set-up."
Tim Edwards - FPR Team Principal
"Thankfully we enjoyed some dry running today. The drivers love nothing more than running on new rubber here and they certainly got their chance today. Frosty again showed his strength here and he was unlucky not to grab provisional pole. He is well-placed for the shootout so we'll see what we can deliver as a team tomorrow afternoon. PD and Will were extremely unlucky to miss the shootout given their speed across the top of the mountain. That said, 11th and 12th show they are not far off where they need to be and they can now spend tomorrow refining their cars ahead of Sunday. The team should be pleased with where we are at this stage of the weekend though there is still a long way to go."
QUALIFYING RESULTS (post penalties)
1) Garth Tander/Nick Percat - HRT: 2m07.66s
2) Mark Winterbottom/Steve Richards - Ford Performance Racing: +0.05s
3) Jamie Whincup/Andrew Thompson - Triple Eight: +.07s
4) David Reynolds/Tim Blanchard - Kelly Racing: +0.17s
5) Greg Murphy/Allan Simonsen - Kelly Racing: +0.24s
10) Will Davison/Luke Youlden - Ford Performance Racing: +0.53s
11) Paul Dumbrell/Dean Canto - Ford Performance Racing: +0.58s