Frosty edges Courtney in final practice

Mark Winterbottom

Mark Winterbottom

Mark Winterbottom clocked the fastest time in the final Supercars practice session at Sydney Motorsport Park ahead of qualifying.

Winterbottom, James Courtney and Scott McLaughlin recorded the session’s three fastest times on their first lap of the 15 minute run.

Courtney was just 0.05s adrift of Winterbottom’s 1:29.59s benchmark, while the Volvo was 0.42s back in third.

“The car feels ok,” said Winterbottom.

“It’s changed a bit since yesterday, there’s a bit more grip in spots that were troubling me yesterday, particularly Turn 1.

“The challenge is that the tyres only last one lap, so you only get one to do it in qualifying.

“We haven’t gone into our race bank yet, we’re still on our practice tyres.

“Hopefully we can qualify well and keep a set of tyres up our sleeve to try and get the good strategy.”

James Moffat gave Volvo further encouragement in fourth ahead of Rick Kelly, who had extra practice tyres to use after missing Practice 2 with a stuck throttle.

“The car is very good,” said Kelly.

“I’m keen to see what we can do on a green tyre in qualifying. Hopefully we can stay in the top five or 10.”

Nissan Motorsport failed to find the reason for yesterday’s throttle issue, despite a thorough investigation yesterday evening.

“I was holding 20 percent (throttle) around the corner anyway and it was just enough friction to hold the throttle at that point,” he said.

“It’s very unlikely it would happen anywhere else and fingers crossed it doesn’t.

“The guys rebuilt everything they could last night and we’ve just got to put it behind us and worry about the rest of the day.”

Qualifying is scheduled for 1415 local time ahead of the 120km Race 18 at 1630.

Result: Virgin Australian Supercars Championship Red Rooster Sydney Super Sprint Practice 3

1 The Bottle-O Racing Team Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 1:29.59
2 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 1:29.65 00.05
3 Wilson Security Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 1:30.01 00.42
4 Wilson Security Racing GRM James Moffat Volvo S60 1:30.07 00.47
5 Sengled Motorsport Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 1:30.11 00.51
6 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 1:30.14 00.55
7 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 1:30.22 00.63
8 DJR Team Penske Scott Pye Ford Falcon FG/X 1:30.23 00.64
9 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 1:30.31 00.71
10 LD Motorsport Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 1:30.33 00.74
11 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 1:30.35 00.76
12 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 1:30.41 00.81
13 TeamVortex Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 1:30.41 00.81
14 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 1:30.47 00.88
15 DJR Team Penske Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG/X 1:30.55 00.95
16 GB Galvanizing Racing Dale Wood Nissan Altima 1:30.68 01.09
17 Team Darrell Lea STIX Will Davison Holden Commodore VF 1:30.69 01.10
18 Erebus Motorsport Penrite David Reynolds Holden Commodore VF 1:30.76 01.16
19 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 1:30.76 01.17
20 Super Black Racing Chris Pither Ford Falcon FG/X 1:30.80 01.20
21 Team Cooldrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VF 1:30.91 01.31
22 Red Bull Racing Australia Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 1:30.95 01.36
23 Preston Hire Racing Karl Reindler Holden Commodore VF 1:31.12 01.53
24 LD Motorsport Andre Heimgartner Holden Commodore VF 1:31.13 01.53
25 carsales Racing Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 1:31.31 01.72
26 Erebus Motorsport Shae Davies Holden Commodore VF 1:31.58 01.98

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