Bathurst omens good for Winterbottom

The omens are good for Ford's Mark Winterbottom ahead of Sunday's Bathurst 1000 despite Scott McLaughlin's all-conquering form at Mount Panorama.

'Frosty' could only manage third fastest for the 161-lap classic after Supercars series leader McLaughlin set an astonishing new lap record in top 10 qualifying on Saturday.

McLaughlin left the Bathurst faithful in shock and rivals in awe when he clocked two minutes, 03.83 seconds - the fastest Supercars lap ever seen on the infamous Mount Panorama street circuit.

He became the first to crack the 2min:04sec barrier on the mountain after shattering the record mark he had set barely 24 hours earlier in Friday's practice.

It seems no one can stop McLaughlin claiming his first Bathurst title.

But ex-Supercars champ Winterbottom said he couldn't be happier starting from third after hearing that's exactly where his hero Allan Moffat launched his memorable 1977 Bathurst triumph.

In a remarkable coincidence, Winterbottom is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Moffat's one-two finish with Colin Bond at Mount Panorama this weekend.

With permission from Moffat himself, Winterbottom's Falcon at Mount Panorama this weekend is sporting the same colour design as his hero's 1977 winning Ford.

Moffat and Bond are also in attendance at Bathurst, doubling as cheerleaders in their garage.

"It's bizarre but they told that was the stat," 2013 Bathurst champion Winterbottom said of starting from third, just like Moffat.

"It's pretty cool to run their livery (colours), and we had Colin and Allan come into the garage before the top 10 qualifying (on Saturday).

"It is a cool feeling to run that livery and present something that happened 40 years ago - it was such a special moment

"So to start from third is bizarre."

Yet Winterbottom did not rule out history repeating on Sunday despite McLaughlin's dominance.

"We made good gains with the car in that qualifying session," he said.

"Every time it rolls out there is something different but we are on top of our brake locking issues.

"My qualifying lap was okay but there is still a little more in it.

"But I was not fighting for pole today.

"Second was probably the best we could have done if we nailed it.

"But (McLaughlin's) 2min03.8sec - when something like that happens, you sit back and acknowledge it."