Warren Luff led a rare one-two-three for Triple Eight in Practice 4 at Bathurst as Swedish import Mattias Ekstrom continued to impress in the team’s wildcard entry.
Teams resumed their chassis tuning work in cooler conditions than that experienced on Thursday, while a tailwind down Conrod also helped lap speed.
Red Bull drivers Luff and Paul Dumbrell traded the top spot throughout the first third of the 45 minutes before Steven Johnson edged ahead in Erebus’ SP Tools Mercedes.
A pair of low 2:09s put Ekstrom fastest at the halfway mark, with the two-time DTM champion staying ahead for some 10 minutes being eclipsed by the first 2:08s effort from Dumbrell.
Luff eventually fired the last shot of the trio, running a 2:08.4s with three minutes on the clock to end the session 0.4s clear.
Dumbrell, Ekstrom and Johnson remained in the top four to the flag, while Fujitsu GRM duo Jack Perkins and Greg Ritter completed the top six.
Triple Eight team principal Roland Dane noted the challenges presented by the vastly different conditions to Friday, but was full of praise for his wildcard rookie.
“Ekstrom did a super job there; he’s far and away the best newcomer I’ve ever seen at Bathurst,” Dane told Speedcafe.com.
“The guy has never been here before, never driven one of these cars here and he’s been consistently up here from his first flying lap.
“There are blokes who have been coming here for years and years who have done a lot more than him and he’s wiped the floor with them.”
By contrast to Thursday afternoon’s stop-start affair, Practice 4 ran green for its duration.
Tim Slade’s #47 Mercedes missed the session following its Practice 3 crash and is not expected to be seen again until at least Saturday morning.
Alex Davison’s crashed Jeld-Wen Ford was, however, was repaired overnight, allowing co-driver John McIntyre to cut 16 laps for 18th in the order.
The primary drivers will be allowed back aboard the cars later this morning for a final 50 minute hit-out prior to qualifying.
See below for the full Practice 4 result
|1||Red Bull Racing Australia||Warren Luff||Holden Commodore VF||02:08.48|
|2||Red Bull Racing Australia||Paul Dumbrell||Holden Commodore VF||02:08.87||00:00.39|
|3||XBOX ONE Racing||Mattias Ekstrom||Holden Commodore VF||02:09.13||00:00.65|
|4||SP Tools Racing||Steven Johnson||Mercedes E63 AMG||02:09.35||00:00.87|
|5||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Jack Perkins||Holden Commodore VF||02:09.46||00:00.98|
|6||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Greg Ritter||Holden Commodore VF||02:09.58||00:01.10|
|7||Lockwood Racing||Luke Youlden||Holden Commodore VF||02:09.82||00:01.34|
|8||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||Steve Owen||Ford Falcon FG||02:09.98||00:01.50|
|9||Jack Daniel’s Racing||David Russell||Nissan Altima||02:10.07||00:01.59|
|10||Norton Hornets||Taz Douglas||Nissan Altima||02:10.14||00:01.66|
|11||Wilson Security Racing||Chris Pither||Holden Commodore VF||02:10.18||00:01.70|
|12||The Bottle-O FPR Ford||Dean Canto||Ford Falcon FG||02:10.20||00:01.72|
|13||Irwin Racing||Craig Baird||Mercedes E63 AMG||02:10.31||00:01.83|
|14||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||Steven Richards||Ford Falcon FG||02:10.32||00:01.84|
|15||Wilson Security Racing||Dale Wood||Ford Falcon FG||02:10.39||00:01.92|
|16||Dodo Insurance Racing||Matthew Halliday||Holden Commodore VF||02:10.43||00:01.95|
|17||Team BOC||Andrew Jones||Holden Commodore VF||02:10.52||00:02.04|
|18||Jeld-wen FPR Ford||John McIntyre||Ford Falcon FG||02:10.62||00:02.14|
|19||Wilson Security Racing||Ashley Walsh||Ford Falcon FG||02:10.72||00:02.24|
|20||Holden Racing Team||Greg Murphy||Holden Commodore VF||02:10.79||00:02.32|
|21||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Karl Reindler||Nissan Altima||02:11.05||00:02.57|
|22||Norton Hornets||Daniel Gaunt||Nissan Altima||02:11.05||00:02:57|
|23||Supercheap Auto Racing||Ryan Briscoe||Holden Commodore VF||02:11.10||00:02.62|
|24||Holden Racing Team||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||02:11.34||00:02.86|
|25||Team HIFLEX||Jonny Reid||Holden Commodore VF||02:11.35||00:02.87|
|26||TEKNO Team VIP Petfoods||Jeroen Bleekemolen||Holden Commodore VF||02:11.40||00:02.92|
|27||TEKNO Team Darrell Lea||Marc Lieb||Holden Commodore VF||02:11.82||00:03.34|
|28||Sargent Security Racing||Paul Morris||Holden Commodore VF||02:11.82||00:03.34|