Mark Winterbottom led a Ford trifecta at the top of the time sheets as record times continued in final V8 Supercars practice at Winton.
The reigning champion’s 1:19.05s best proved 0.2s quicker than Tim Slade’s best from Friday at the resurfaced venue.
Nissan’s Michael Caruso led the way in the 15 minute session ahead of the final 60 seconds, which saw Scott McLaughlin and then Winterbottom improve the benchmark.
“It was a big change from yesterday,” smiled Winterbottom.
“I hated the car yesterday but the guys worked hard over night and the car felt really nice.
“I got held up by (James) Moffat on my lap so I think there’s more in it.
“I think we could get down to an 18.7 or 8 in qualifying, but even if we’re doing 25s we just want to be quickest.”
Scott Pye and Fabian Coulthard slotted into second and third respectively in the dying seconds, albeit 0.2s and 0.3s adrift of Winterbottom respectively.
“The track was extremely different to yesterday,” said Pye.
“We didn’t change that much overnight because the track was so hit and miss.
“So far so good, but I think there’ll be 18s in qualifying so we need to step it up again.”
McLaughlin ended up fourth ahead of Chris Pither, Caruso, Craig Lowndes, Jamie Whincup, Slade and Chaz Mostert.
Nick Percat failed to complete a lap after engine problems struck his Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Holden.
Officials elected against installing a tyre bundle at Turn 8 to combat debris on the circuit this morning, instead sweeping the apexes of several corners.
Qualifying will take place from 1320 local time.
Result: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Woodstock Winton Super Sprint Practice 3
|1||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:19.0469RS|
|2||DJR Team Penske||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:19.2462 S||00.1993|
|3||DJR Team Penske||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:19.3304 S||00.2835|
|4||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||1:19.3313 S||00.2844|
|5||Super Black Racing||Chris Pither||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:19.4162 S||00.3693|
|6||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||1:19.4634 S||00.4165|
|7||TeamVortex||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||1:19.5035 S||00.4566|
|8||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||1:19.5190 S||00.4721|
|9||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||1:19.5744 S||00.5275|
|10||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:19.5926 S||00.5457|
|11||Team Darrell Lea STIX||Will Davison||Holden Commodore VF||1:19.6241 S||00.5772|
|12||Red Bull Racing Australia||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||1:19.7108 S||00.6639|
|13||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||1:19.7179 S||00.6710|
|14||Erebus Motorsport Penrite||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VF||1:19.7439 S||00.6970|
|15||Sengled Motorsport||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:19.8549 S||00.8080|
|16||Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF||1:19.9185 S||00.8716|
|17||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||1:19.9851 S||00.9382|
|18||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:20.0878 S||01.0409|
|19||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||1:20.1178 S||01.0709|
|20||ABRO/Repair Management Aust||Andre Heimgartner||Holden Commodore VF||1:20.1475 S||01.1006|
|21||Team Cooldrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||1:20.1952 S||01.1483|
|22||GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Nissan Altima||1:20.1979 S||01.1510|
|23||carsales Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:20.2835 S||01.2366|
|24||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Moffat||Volvo S60||1:20.3232 S||01.2763|
|25||Plus Fitness Racing||Aaren Russell||Holden Commodore VF||1:20.6379 S||01.5910|
|26||ABRO/Repair Management Aust||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF|