Young guns seal pole position for Sandown 500
CAMERON Waters will start from pole position in the Wilson Security Sandown 500 after winning the Race to the Grid 2 qualifying race.
A fast start from the second row saw Waters leap into the lead at Turn 1, squeezing past front-row men Scott McLaughlin and David Reynolds, who followed him home in second and third.
The win gives 23-year-old Waters his second career pole position and 25-year-old co-driver Richie Stanaway his first, and ends Scott McLaughlin's pole-winning streak at seven.
The second qualifying sprint was far less eventful and damaging than the first, but there were still a few dramas for some of the big names.
Twenty-four cars fronted for the race, with neither Tim Blanchard nor Will Davison making it to the grid after their co-drivers' horrifying shunt in the preceding race, with the CoolDrive Commodore ruled out for the remainder of the weekend.
Craig Lowndes fell out early, retiring with a power steering drama that saw his Caltex Commodore puffing smoke from the formation lap.
"We were hoping to get through the race," Lowndes said, the result consigning him to a last-place start on Sunday.
"Everyone could see the smoke; it was more James Bond than Colin Bond like the livery."
Joining him back there will be Triple Eight teammate Shane van Gisbergen. He was unable to move forward from his lowly starting position following Matt Campbell's early spin in the opening sprint, a sticking throttle leaving the reigning series champion to finish 19th.
Waters' start was as good as his Prodrive teammates' was bad: Mark Winterbottom sunk from fourth on the grid to ninth while Mostert behind him was also baulked.
Dale Wood also made a screamer to leap from ninth to sixth, losing a spot to the recovering Mostert late in the race to nonetheless seal an impressive seventh on the grid for Sunday.
The leading trio was joined for much of the race by Jamie Whincup, who got alongside Reynolds on the final lap only to have to abort the passing attempt due to yellow flags.
Mostert and Fabian Coulthard came home fifth and sixth ahead of Wood, while Garth Tander, Winterbottom and Nick Percat rounded out the top 10.