McLaughlin sets impressive pace in final practice

Tom Howard

Saturday 20th May, 2017 - 11:58am

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Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin proved the man to beat after posting a blistering effort in final practice at the Winton Super Sprint.

The DJR Team Penske driver pumped out an impressive 1:19.59s effort as teams logged their first meaningful dry running during the 45-minute outing at the rural Victorian circuit.

McLaughlin set his time with 12 minutes of the session remaining that saw him hold a 0.6s margin over the field until late efforts from Chaz Mostert (Prodrive) and Shane van Gisbergen (Triple Eight) on green tyres.

Drivers faced a slippery green track surface aided by the lack of rubber build up from Friday’s wet weather.

“It was weird. I think everyone probably had the same drama because no one went quicker on greens but the car felt not too bad,” said McLaughlin.

“I felt like I just maybe picked up a bit of understeer on the green set but you traditionally get that so we’ll work on it.

“It’s still a bit tram track-y out there, it’s quite dirty on the track, but it’s still reasonably quick, so it’s the same for everyone but it’s definitely a challenge for sure.”

Mostert was McLaughlin’s nearest rival just 0.08s adrift, while reigning champion van Gisbergen was two tenths back in the top Triple Eight car.

Brad Jones Racing continued its strong showing with Tim Slade fourth ahead of Friday pacesetter Nick Percat, who held second until the final two minutes.

Mark Winterbottom was sixth in the #5 Prodrive entry ahead of Michael Caruso, who was the fastest of the five Nissan Altimas on track.

Garry Rogers Motorsport’s Garth Tander ended the session in eighth with the top 10 completed by Fabian Coulthard (DJRTP) and Erebus Motorsport’s David Reynolds.

Will Davison just missed out on the top 10 ahead of Mobil 1 HSV Racing’s James Courtney in 12th position.

Jamie Whincup could only manage a time good enough for 24th spot behind Craig Lowndes (23rd) as the Triple Eight duo struggled for outright pace.

“We just can’t get the front and rear to match together,” said Lowndes, who signed a new two-year deal prior to the weekend.

“We had a crack on a new tyre and that highlighted the issue, we hoped the new tyre would hide it but it didn’t.”

The session was halted briefly with just six minutes on the clock when wildcard runner James Golding lost control and backed his Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden into the gravel at Turn 6.

Golding managed recover this car back to the track without issue.

Shae Davies was the top wildcard runner in 21st spot despite suffering a small off at Turn 6.

The Supercars field will tackle a 15 minute qualifying session at 1325 ahead of a 40-lap race, scheduled to start at 1600 local time.

Result: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Winton Super Sprint Practice 3

1 Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin  Ford Falcon FG/X 1:19.5923*SS
2 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert  Ford Falcon FG/X 1:19.6791 SS 00.0868
3 Red Bull Holden Racing Aust Shane Van Gisbergen  Holden Commodore VF 1:19.8043 SS 00.2120
4 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade  Holden Commodore VF 1:20.1232 SS 00.5309
5 Freightliner/Alliance Truck Nick Percat  Holden Commodore VF 1:20.2034 SS 00.6111
6 The Bottle-O Racing Team Mark Winterbottom  Ford Falcon FG/X 1:20.2459 SS 00.6536
7 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso  Nissan Altima 1:20.2540 SS 00.6617
8 Wilson Security Racing GRM Garth Tander  Holden Commodore VF 1:20.3661 SS 00.7738
9 Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard  Ford Falcon FG/X 1:20.4011 SS 00.8088
10 Erebus Penrite Racing David Reynolds  Holden Commodore VF 1:20.4337 SS 00.8414
11 TEKNO Woodstock Racing Will Davison  Holden Commodore VF 1:20.4785 SS 00.8862
12 Mobil 1 HSV Racing James Courtney  Holden Commodore VF 1:20.5018 SS 00.9095
13 Mobil 1 HSV Racing Scott Pye  Holden Commodore VF 1:20.5089 SS 00.9166
14 Sengled Racing Rick Kelly  Nissan Altima 1:20.5282 SS 00.9359
15 carsales Racing Todd Kelly  Nissan Altima 1:20.5725 SS 00.9802
16 MEGA Racing Jason Bright  Ford Falcon FG/X 1:20.5902 SS 00.9979
17 Preston Hire Racing Lee Holdsworth  Holden Commodore VF 1:20.5918 SS 00.9995
18 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters  Ford Falcon FG/X 1:20.6533 SS 01.0610
19 Team CoolDrive Tim Blanchard  Holden Commodore VF 1:20.6678 SS 01.0755
20 Wilson Security Racing GRM James Moffat  Holden Commodore VF 1:20.7866 SS 01.1943
21 Loco Energy Drink Shae Davies  Nissan Altima 1:20.8222 SS 01.2299
22 Wilson Security Racing GRM James Golding  Holden Commodore VF 1:20.8527 SS 01.2604
23 TeamVortex Craig Lowndes  Holden Commodore VF 1:20.9408 SS 01.3485
24 Red Bull Holden Racing Aust Jamie Whincup  Holden Commodore VF 1:20.9752 SS 01.3829
25 Erebus GB Galvanizing Racing Dale Wood  Holden Commodore VF 1:21.1541 SS 01.5618
26 Team Harvey Norman Simona De Silvestro  Nissan Altima 1:21.1869 SS 01.5946
27 Drillpro Racing Macauley Jones  Holden Commodore VF 1:21.2199 SS 01.6276
28 Repair Management Aust Racing Taz Douglas  Holden Commodore VF 1:21.6461 SS 02.0538
29 LD Motorsport Alex Rullo  Holden Commodore VF 1:22.4282 SS 02.8359