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|