Caruso fastest in final Clipsal 500 practice

Michael Caruso's Nissan

Michael Caruso’s Nissan

Michael Caruso put Nissan on top in the final practice session at the Clipsal 500 as teams turned their attention to race pace for this afternoon’s pair of 125km heats.

Caruso set the fastest two times of the 20 minutes, moving to the top midway through with a 1:21.22s before shaving a further 0.02s from the benchmark on the final of his three runs.

James Courtney and David Reynolds put their Holdens second and third ahead of Ford quartet Fabian Coulthard, Chaz Mostert, Mark Winterbottom and Scott Pye.

Jamie Whincup was eighth as Triple Eight focussed on evaluating the soft tyre over an extended stint.

The #88 Red Bull Holden completed 15 consecutive laps on the softs, with a 0.6s difference between his peak time of 1:20.6s and his final lap.

Team-mates Craig Lowndes and Shane van Gisbergen ran 12 and 15 consecutive laps respectively, with the former’s session including a wild trip down the Turn 4 escape road.

While admitting that topping the session means little ahead of the races, Caruso says he’s encouraged to have fixed issues that netted just a 14th place grid position for today’s soft tyre race.

“The car was quite good,” said Caruso of his session.

“We knew we didn’t get the most out of the car in qualifying yesterday but we found a bit of an issue on the car that they rectified which makes a big difference to the lap time.

“But the race is going to be a lot different than doing some quick laps in a row. It’s going to be bloody hot and some fierce racing no doubt.”

Result: V8 Supercars Clipsal 500 Practice 3

1 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 1:20.2041*S
2 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 1:20.3739 S 00.1698
3 Erebus Motorsport Penrite David Reynolds Holden Commodore VF 1:20.3931 S 00.1890
4 DJR Team Penske Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG/X 1:20.4449 S 00.2408
5 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 1:20.4568 S 00.2527
6 The Bottle-O Racing Team Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 1:20.5122 S 00.3081
7 DJR Team Penske Scott Pye Ford Falcon FG/X 1:20.5689 S 00.3648
8 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 1:20.6247 S 00.4206
9 Wilson Security Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 1:20.6522 S 00.4481
10 Team Vortex Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 1:20.7472 S 00.5431
11 Prodrive Racing Australia Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 1:20.9071 S 00.7030
12 Red Bull Racing Australia Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 1:20.9826 S 00.7785
13 LD Motorsports Andre Heimgartner Holden Commodore VF 1:21.0070 S 00.8029
14 GB Galvanizing Racing Dale Wood Nissan Altima 1:21.1499 S 00.9458
15 Team Darrell Lea STIX Will Davison Holden Commodore VF 1:21.2188 S 01.0147
16 carsales Racing Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 1:21.2626 H 01.0585
17 Superblack Racing Chris Pither Ford Falcon FG/X 1:21.2987 S 01.0946
18 Nissan Motorsport Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 1:21.3825 H 01.1784
19 Wilson Security Racing GRM James Moffat Volvo S60 1:21.4878 H 01.2837
20 Preston Hire Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VF 1:21.5484 H 01.3443
21 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 1:21.5567 H 01.3526
22 Plus Fitness Racing Aaren Russell Holden Commodore VF 1:21.6892 S 01.4851
23 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 1:21.7578 H 01.5537
24 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 1:21.9240 H 01.7199
25 LD Motorsports Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 1:22.0920 H 01.8879
26 Team Cooldrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VF 1:22.7285 H 02.5244

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