Jamie Whincup proved almost three quarters of a second faster than the field during a red flag hit final Thursday practice session at Bathurst.
Three red flags punctuated the session, beginning with a major hit for Tim Slade’s Erebus Mercedes.
Having been hurriedly repaired following co-driver Andrew Thompson’s brake failure induced crash in the earlier session, Slade completed just two flying laps before finding the wall at The Cutting.
An accident for Alex Davison at Reid Park a short time later caused a second stoppage, while a mechanical problem for Jason Bright and a crash for Todd Kelly brought the total red flags to three.
Bright had been fastest with 10 minutes remaining when he suffered a spectacular driveline failure coming down Conrod.
The session was subsequently extended until its time cut-off, allowing for a final 10 minutes of running.
Whincup easily proved fastest of all, running a 2:08.75s and then 2:08.32s to move a full second clear of the field.
A late effort from Mark Winterbottom dragged the gap back to 0.7s, while Ford Performance Racing stable-mates David Reynolds and Will Davison completed the top four.
Shane van Gisbergen and Jason Bright, who missed the end of the session, were fifth and sixth respectively, with the top Mercedes of Lee Holdsworth seventh.
Two more practice sessions will take place on Friday morning ahead of the afternoon’s qualifying session.
Although Whincup dominated the field, the Red Bull Holden was a full second adrift of the fastest Thursday time last year.
See below for the Practice 3 result
|1||Red Bull Racing Australia||J.Whincup/P.Dumbrell||Holden Commodore VF||2:08.3240*|
|2||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG||02:09.05||00:00.73|
|3||The Bottle-O FPR Ford||D.Reynolds/D.Canto||Ford Falcon FG||02:09.33||00:01.01|
|4||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||Will Davison||Ford Falcon FG||02:09.35||00:01.03|
|5||TEKNO team VIP Petfoods||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||02:09.37||00:01.04|
|6||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||02:09.55||00:01.22|
|7||Irwin Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Mercedes E63 AMG||02:09.64||00:01.32|
|8||Lockwood Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VF||02:09.78||00:01.46|
|9||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Holden Commodore VF||02:09.88||00:01.56|
|10||Wilson Security Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG||02:09.88||00:01.56|
|11||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Alexandre Premat||Holden Commodore VF||02:09.92||00:01.60|
|12||Wilson Security Racing||David Wall||Holden Commodore VF||02:09.96||00:01.63|
|13||Holden Racing Team||J.Courtney/G.Murphy||Holden Commodore VF||02:10.09||00:01.76|
|14||Team HIFLEX||Tony D’Alberto||Holden Commodore VF||02:10.28||00:01.96|
|15||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||02:10.34||00:02.02|
|16||Norton Hornets||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||02:10.39||00:02.07|
|17||Red Bull Racing Australia||C.Lowndes/W.Luff||Holden Commodore VF||02:10.42||00:02.10|
|18||Wilson Security Racing||Tim Blanchard||Ford Falcon FG||02:10.50||00:02.18|
|19||Dodo Insurance Racing||Dean Fiore||Holden Commodore VF||02:10.60||00:02.28|
|20||Sargent Security Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore VF||02:10.64||00:02.32|
|21||Norton Hornets||James Moffat||Nissan Altima||02:10.75||00:02.42|
|22||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||02:10.93||00:02.61|
|23||Supercheap Auto Racing||Russell Ingall||Holden Commodore VF||02:11.12||00:02.80|
|24||XBOX ONE Racing||A.Priaulx/M.Ekstrom||Holden Commodore VF||02:11.24||00:02.92|
|25||TEKNO team Darrell Lea||J.Webb/M.Lieb||Holden Commodore VF||02:11.44||00:03.12|
|26||Heavy Haulage Australia Racing||Tim Slade||Mercedes E63 AMG||02:11.46||00:03.13|
|27||SP Tools Racing||Maro Engel||Mercedes E63 AMG||02:11.53||00:03.20|
|28||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||02:11.84||00:03.52|
|29||Jeld-wen FPR Ford||A.Davison/J.McIntyre||Ford Falcon FG||02:11.88||00:03.56|