Shane van Gisbergen completed a clean sweep of Friday practice after topping the third hit-out at Sydney Olympic Park.
The New Zealander once again showed his class at the challenging street circuit as he fired in a 1:27.76s effort late in the 30 minute session.
Having dominated the first two practice outings, his rivals managed to close the gap with Brad Jones Racing’s Jason Bright just 0.08s adrift of the Tekno Autosports driver.
Jamie Whincup surged to the top of the timesheets as the session entered the final minutes but Van Gisbergen and Bright’s late efforts saw the six-time champion demoted to third.
Despite a late brush with the tyre wall, David Reynolds posted the fourth fastest time ahead of Volvo’s Scott McLaughlin, who enjoyed a spell at the top of the times.
James Courtney emerged as the top Walkinshaw runner in sixth ahead of Nissan’s Michael Caruso, who was one of a group drivers to head the times during the session.
Title contender Craig Lowndes finished the hit-out in eighth, while Scott Pye and Erebus Motorsport’s Will Davison rounded out the top 10.
Championship leader Mark Winterbottom ended Practice 3 in P11 although the Prodrive driver elected not to use a green set of tyres.
The session was littered with several incidents with the most serious involving Chris Pither.
The Super Black Racing driver clattered into the tyre wall at the chicane which brought out the red flags with 22 minutes remaining.
James Moffat also collected the tyre wall at the chicane once the session resumed causing significant damage to his Nissan Altima.
Both Pither and Moffat were forced to spend the remaining minutes in the garage.
Result: V8 Supercars Coates Hire Sydney 500 Practice 3
|1||Team Darrell Lea STIX||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||1:27.7652|
|2||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||1:27.8533||00.0881|
|3||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||1:27.8963||00.1311|
|4||The Bottle-O Racing Team||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:27.9035||00.1383|
|5||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||1:27.9102||00.1450|
|6||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||1:28.0485||00.2833|
|7||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||1:28.0569||00.2917|
|8||Red Bull Racing Australia||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||1:28.2495||00.4843|
|9||DJR Team Penske||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:28.2612||00.4960|
|10||Erebus Motorsport V8||Will Davison||Mercedes E63 AMG||1:28.3075||00.5423|
|11||Pepsi Max Crew||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:28.3743||00.6091|
|12||Supercheap Auto Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||1:28.3886||00.6234|
|13||GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore VF||1:28.4387||00.6735|
|14||Walkinshaw Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF||1:28.5948||00.8296|
|15||Repair Management Aust Racing||Jack Perkins||Holden Commodore VF||1:28.6186||00.8534|
|16||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||1:28.7556||00.9904|
|17||Freightliner Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VF||1:28.8186||01.0534|
|18||Pepsi Max Crew||Steve Owen||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:28.8588||01.0936|
|19||Nissan Motorsport||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:28.9116||01.1464|
|20||Nissan Motorsport||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:28.9218||01.1566|
|21||Wilson Security Racing GRM||David Wall||Volvo S60||1:29.0583||01.2931|
|22||Team Cooldrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||1:29.2733||01.5081|
|23||Super Black Racing||Chris Pither||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:29.8998||02.1346|
|24||Erebus Motorsport V8||Alex Davison||Mercedes E63 AMG||1:29.9693||02.2041|
|25||Nissan Motorsport||James Moffat||Nissan Altima||1:30.2094||02.4442|