Fabian Coulthard concluded a strong day for the Lockwood Holden by topping the third and final 20 minute practice session.
Having edged James Courtney to the fastest time by just 0.0075s in Practice 1, Coulthard’s 55.74s best proved 0.01s clear of Chaz Mostert in Practice 3.
“It’s a good start, especially after New Zealand we struggled a bit there,” said Coulthard, who finished all three of the day’s sessions in the top five.
“It’s only practice, but to bounce back in that sort of fashion is positive.
“We need to do that in qualifying when it counts, but it’s a very good start.”
Courtney had held sway at the top for much of the third session before Russell Ingall, Mosert and eventually Coulthard all improved in the final four minutes.
After spending most of the day towards the bottom of the time sheets, the move to green tyres saw Jamie Whincup end the final session third.
David Reynolds was the second of the Fords in fourth ahead of an impressive Robert Dahlgren and Mark Winterbottom.
Practice 2 pace-setter Scott McLaughlin managed just 12th in the second Volvo, despite being just 0.28s shy of Coulthard.
McLaughlin’s Practice 2 effort was, however, enough to put the #33 S60 sixth on combined times.
“The car is alright,” he reported.
“It’s a little bit hard to know where you’re at… probably until qualifying we don’t know, but it’s not too bad.”
Ingall was demoted to seventh in the dying minutes ahead of Dale Wood, Courtney and Craig Lowndes.
Like his team-mate, Lowndes had spent the majority of the day down the order, but emerged confident after the final hit-out.
“We started the day a little frustrated but at the end of it all we’re happy,” he said.
“At the end of the day we put on a fresh set of tyres, got a set up that we were hopeful that would work and as a combination it was successful.”
The third session was held in dry and sunny conditions, with a brief shower in the late morning proving the day’s only weather interruption.
The V8 Supercars will return to the track tomorrow for two qualifying sessions and two 100km races.
See below for the full Practice 3 result
|1||14||Fabian Coulthard||Lockwood Racing||Holden Commodore VF||0:55.7493|
|2||6||Chaz Mostert||Ford Pepsi Max Crew||Ford Falcon FG||0:55.7602||0:00.0109|
|3||1||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing Australia||Holden Commodore VF||0:55.7975||0:00.0482|
|4||55||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Ford Falcon FG||0:55.9050||0:00.1557|
|5||34||Robert Dahlgren||Valvoline Racing GRM||Volvo S60||0:55.9147||0:00.1654|
|6||5||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Pepsi Max Crew||Ford Falcon FG||0:55.9182||0:00.1689|
|7||23||Russell Ingall||Repair Management Aust Racing||Holden Commodore VF||0:55.9393||0:00.1900|
|8||21||Dale Wood||Team Advam/GB||Holden Commodore VF||0:55.9588||0:00.2095|
|9||22||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team||Holden Commodore VF||0:55.9712||0:00.2219|
|10||888||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing Australia||Holden Commodore VF||0:55.9859||0:00.2366|
|11||4||Lee Holdsworth||Erebus Motorsport V8||Mercedes E63 AMG||0:56.0111||0:00.2618|
|12||33||Scott McLaughlin||Valvoline Racing GRM||Volvo S60||0:56.0317||0:00.2824|
|13||9||Will Davison||Erebus Motorsport V8||Mercedes E63 AMG||0:56.0871||0:00.3378|
|14||360||James Moffat||Norton Hornets||Nissan Altima||0:56.0917||0:00.3424|
|15||47||Tim Slade||Supercheap Auto Racing||Holden Commodore VF||0:56.1039||0:00.3546|
|16||8||Jason Bright||Team BOC||Holden Commodore VF||0:56.1103||0:00.3610|
|17||222||Nick Percat||Walkinshaw Racing||Holden Commodore VF||0:56.1272||0:00.3779|
|18||17||David Wall||Wilson Security Racing||Ford Falcon FG||0:56.1279||0:00.3786|
|19||16||Scott Pye||Wilson Security Racing||Ford Falcon FG||0:56.2364||0:00.4871|
|20||97||Shane Van Gisbergen||Team Tekno VIP Petfoods||Holden Commodore VF||0:56.2719||0:00.5226|
|21||15||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Nissan Altima||0:56.2968||0:00.5475|
|22||2||Garth Tander||Holden Racing Team||Holden Commodore VF||0:56.5192||0:00.7699|
|23||36||Michael Caruso||Norton Hornets||Nissan Altima||0:56.5307||0:00.7814|
|24||18||Jack Perkins||Team JELD-WEN||Ford Falcon FG||0:56.5833||0:00.8340|
|25||7||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Nissan Altima||0:56.7047||0:00.9554|