Winterbottom stays on top in final practice

Mark Winterbottom

Mark Winterbottom

Prodrive’s Mark Winterbottom continued his fine form at Symmons Plains by topping the third and final practice session ahead of qualifying.

The Friday practice pace-setter proved the fastest of those to make a late run in this morning’s 15 minute session on good quality soft tyres.

Set with just 30 seconds left on the clock, Winterbottom’s 51.098s is the quickest time of the weekend to date.

Track conditions were notably different from Friday, with the sun shining and the wind considerably lighter.

Scott McLaughlin’s Volvo ended up 0.13s adrift in second, despite finding traffic on the second lap of his final run.

Fabian Coulthard was third, showing the first sign of front-running pace from DJR Team Penske after missing out on a green tyre effort due to an ill-timed set-up change yesterday.

Jason Bright spent time at the top of the order in Practice 3 on his way to fourth ahead of Lee Holdsworth, Craig Lowndes, Cameron Waters, Garth Tander, Chaz Mostert and David Reynolds.

Mostert and Jamie Whincup, who ended up 18th, both bedded in fresh engines after unscheduled post-practice changes.

“We noticed in the data that he was a little bit down on straightline speed,” said Prodrive team principal Tim Edwards.

“It’s probably nothing, but it was safer to just change the engine and then when we’re back in the factory we’ll put it on the dyno and look at it.”

Red Bull team manager Mark Dutton also described the change on Whincup’s car as a precautionary measure.

“There was a little bit of aluminium in the filter (after practice), which is not normal,” he said.

“The power looked pretty good, it didn’t seem to be that bad but you can’t risk these things.”

Waters’ run to seventh meanwhile included an early brush with Nick Percat; the two cars making minor side-to-side contact at Turn 6 as the Ford driver moved down the inside of his Holden rival.

Qualifying will take place from 1435 local time.

Result: V8 Supercars Tyrepower Tasmania Super Sprint Practice 3 

1 The Bottle-O Racing Team Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 51.0978*S
2 Wilson Security Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 51.2302 S 00.1324
3 DJR Team Penske Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG/X 51.2598 S 00.1620
4 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 51.4035 S 00.3057
5 Preston Hire Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VF 51.4090 S 00.3112
6 TeamVortex Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 51.4114 S 00.3136
7 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 51.4460 S 00.3482
8 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 51.5192 S 00.4214
9 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 51.5406 S 00.4428
10 Erebus Motorsport Penrite David Reynolds Holden Commodore VF 51.5575 S 00.4597
11 Team Darrell Lea STIX Will Davison Holden Commodore VF 51.5606 S 00.4628
12 DJR Team Penske Scott Pye Ford Falcon FG/X 51.5707 S 00.4729
13 carsales Racing Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 51.5952 S 00.4974
14 Red Bull Racing Australia Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 51.6573 S 00.5595
15 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 51.7007 S 00.6029
16 Wilson Security Racing GRM James Moffat Volvo S60 51.7275 S 00.6297
17 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 51.7361 S 00.6383
18 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 51.8429 S 00.7451
19 Sengled Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 51.8454 S 00.7476
20 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 51.9320 S 00.8342
21 Team GB Galvanizing Dale Wood Nissan Altima 51.9533 S 00.8555
22 ABRO/Repair Management Aust Ra Andre Heimgartner Holden Commodore VF 51.9705 S 00.8727
23 Team Cooldrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VF 51.9775 S 00.8797
24 Super Black Racing Chris Pither Ford Falcon FG/X 52.0135 S 00.9157
25 ARBO/Repair Management Aust Ra Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 52.1442 S 01.0464
26 Plus Fitness Racing Aaren Russell Holden Commodore VF 52.3628 S 01.2650

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