Scott McLaughlin reset Phillip Island’s practice lap record on the way to the fastest time on Friday at the WD-40 Phillip Island Super Sprint.
Amid growing speculation over his future with Volvo, McLaughlin’s Practice 2 effort underlined the potential for the marque to break its long victory drought at the fast and flowing venue.
McLaughlin and team-mate James Moffat ran one-two as the session entered its final third and, after being shuffled down through the top 10 as the new tyres came out, responded emphatically in the dying seconds.
A 1:30.39s effort inside the final minute put the Kiwi 0.66s clear of countryman and previous fast man Shane van Gisbergen.
McLaughlin then further proved his car’s speed with a second lap that, despite being polluted by traffic, was the second quickest of the session.
Fabian Coulthard put in a similarly late effort to end up second on the timesheets, albeit 0.63s adrift of the flying McLaughlin.
“I’m stoked but it’s early days yet, I don’t want to get too excited,” smiled McLaughlin post-session.
“We’re quite a bit under the lap record as well so it’s awesome finishing with that too.
“I wish it was qualifying but we’ll see how we go tomorrow.”
Van Gisbergen, who did not run new tyres in the closing stages, ended up third ahead of Will Davison, James Courtney, Mark Winterbottom, Cameron Waters, Scott Pye and James Moffat.
Moffat survived two off track excursions at Turn 2 during the session, both of which came immediately after setting fast times.
The 60 minutes was littered with offs as drivers pushed the limits, particularly at the tricky Southern Loop.
David Reynolds had the wildest moment of all, firing his Erebus Holden off at Turn 1 before running across the grass and rejoining at the following turn.
Result: V8 Supercars WD-40 Phillip Island Super Sprint Practice 2
|1||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||1:30.3918RH|
|2||DJR Team Penske||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:31.0259 H||00.6341|
|3||Red Bull Racing Australia||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||1:31.0564 H||00.6646|
|4||Sengled Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:31.1779 H||00.7861|
|5||Team Darrell Lea STIX||Will Davison||Holden Commodore VF||1:31.1794 H||00.7876|
|6||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||1:31.2406 H||00.8488|
|7||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:31.2810 H||00.8892|
|8||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:31.2905 H||00.8987|
|9||DJR Team Penske||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:31.3022 H||00.9104|
|10||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Moffat||Volvo S60||1:31.3549 H||00.9631|
|11||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:31.3806 H||00.9888|
|12||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||1:31.5128 H||01.1210|
|13||Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF||1:31.5302 H||01.1384|
|14||TeamVortex||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||1:31.5681 H||01.1763|
|15||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||1:31.5721 H||01.1803|
|16||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||1:31.6189 H||01.2271|
|17||Super Black Racing||Chris Pither||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:31.6577 H||01.2659|
|18||Team GB Galvanizing||Dale Wood||Nissan Altima||1:31.7454 H||01.3536|
|19||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||1:31.7610 H||01.3692|
|20||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||1:31.7627 H||01.3709|
|21||ABRO/Repair Management Australia||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||1:31.9287 H||01.5369|
|22||Team Cooldrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||1:32.0505 H||01.6587|
|23||carsales Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:32.2324 H||01.8406|
|24||ABRO/Repair Management Australia||Andre Heimgartner||Holden Commodore VF||1:32.4560 H||02.0642|
|25||Erebus Motorsport Penrite||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VF||1:32.4803 H||02.0885|
|26||Plus Fitness Racing||Aaren Russell||Holden Commodore VF||1:33.6960 H||03.3042|