Coulthard fastest ahead of Darwin qualifying

Fabian Coulthard set the pace ahead of qualifying

Fabian Coulthard set the pace ahead of qualifying

A late lap on soft tyres saw Fabian Coulthard show the way in the final practice session prior to qualifying at Hidden Valley.

The 15 minute morning practice saw a mixed bag of used soft and hard tyres as teams prepared for the afternoon’s two qualifying sessions.

Coulthard set the benchmark of 1:06.43s as the chequered flag fell, running a full 0.3s quicker than David Reynolds’ practice record from Friday.

“It’s not a bad way to start the day at all. The car is awesome,” said the Kiwi.

“We worked hard yesterday and the change we made overnight has made the car nicer again, it is a pleasure to drive. We just need to do this in qualifying now.

“I think there is a bit of time in the new tyre, we have been using old tyres. I’d like to think there is a little bit more time out there but not sure how much.”

Will Davison secured second moments later with his own soft tyre time, knocking Mark Winterbottom – who ran hards for the entire session – down to third.

Chaz Mostert led the way for the majority of the running as he joined Reynolds in starting on a set of softs.

The duo eventually fell to fourth and sixth respectively, split by the Tekno Autosports Holden of Shane van Gisbergen.

Andre Heimgartner, Jason Bright, Scott Pye and James Courtney completed the top 10.

Red Bull duo Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup were just 15th and 21st respectively, although neither used a set of softs.

“There were a couple of corners which we were not flash on yesterday so we are trying to get our heads around that,” noted team owner Roland Dane.

“The tyres were not brilliant. Craig ran early on good tyres and was up there but the track is evolving all the time. We need to be mindful of that.”

It was another tough run for the Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander, who found himself at the foot of the order for the second time this weekend.

The first of the two qualifying sessions will take place at 1130 local time.

Result: V8 Supercars Practice 3, Hidden Valley 

1 Freightliner Racing Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VF 1:06.43
2 Erebus Motorsport V8 Will Davison Mercedes E63 AMG 1:06.57 0.14
3 Pepsi Max Crew Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 1:06.72 0.29
4 Pepsi Max Crew Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 1:06.76 0.33
5 Team Darrell Lea STIX Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 1:06.78 0.35
6 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds Ford Falcon FG/X 1:06.81 0.37
7 Super Black Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Falcon FG/X 1:06.86 0.43
8 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 1:06.86 0.43
9 DJR Team Penske Scott Pye Ford Falcon FG/X 1:06.95 0.52
10 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 1:07.01 0.58
11 Wilson Security Racing GRM David Wall Volvo S60 1:07.05 0.62
12 Nissan Motorsport James Moffat Nissan Altima 1:07.07 0.64
13 Wilson Security Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 1:07.09 0.66
14 Walkinshaw Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VF 1:07.10 0.67
15 Red Bull Racing Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 1:07.12 0.69
16 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 1:07.22 0.79
17 Nissan Motorsport Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 1:07.30 0.87
18 GB Galvanizing Racing Dale Wood Holden Commodore VF 1:07.31 0.88
19 Supercheap Auto Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 1:07.35 0.92
20 Repair Management Aust Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 1:07.44 1.00
21 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 1:07.66 1.22
22 Nissan Motorsport Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 1:08.24 1.81
23 Erebus Motorsport V8 Ashley Walsh Mercedes E63 AMG 1:08.31 1.88
24 Team Cooldrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VF 1:08.43 2.00
25 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 1:08.69 2.26

Join the discussion below in the Speedcafe.com comments section

Please note: Speedcafe.com reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]