McLaughlin fastest in opening GC600 practice
Scott McLaughlin has rebounded from his Bathurst disappointment by topping opening practice at the Castrol Gold Coast 600.
The Volvo driver, who was caught up in the late-race Jamie Whincup controversy at Bathurst, edged Shane van Gisbergen to the quickest time.
McLaughlin recorded a 1:11.32s after the chequered flag fell at the end of the 30 minutes.
Supercars Championship leader Van Gisbergen was 0.09s adrift in second having in turn moved to the top with just 30 seconds on the clock.
David Reynolds, Jamie Whincup, Cameron Waters and Michael Caruso completed the top six, all lapping faster than the best Practice 1 time from 12 months ago.
The speed comes after resurfacing of several sections of the street layout, including at the Turn 1 and beachside chicanes.
As ever at Surfers Paradise, drivers spent the opening session getting used to the combination of electronic sensors and tyre bundles in the chicanes.
The start of the session was delayed by 13 minutes as officials repaired damage to the Turn 10 apex kerb which occurred during the preceding Carrera Cup session.
“The resurfacing they’ve done here is really good and the kerbs are the best they’ve been,” reported Van Gisbergen.
“We’ve still got the sensors but the tyres are self-restricting, so it’s really good.
“The resurfacing should mean you can pass now into Turn 1 because you’re not so grip limited.”
Reynolds meanwhile stressed the fine line that drivers must tread in carrying speed through the chicanes.
“I had a few kerb strikes but it’s just seeing how much you can take the piss,” he said.
“It’s an imaginary line and if you err on the side of caution you’re a bit slow but if you take the piss and avoid the kerb strikes you’re up the front somewhere.”
Seventh through 10th were Bathurst winner Will Davison, James Courtney, James Moffat and Chaz Mostert.
Three 30 minute Supercars practice sessions will be held today, with the second for co-drivers only starting at 1345 local time.
Result: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Castrol Gold Coast 600 Practice 1
|1||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||1:11.32|
|2||Red Bull Racing Australia||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||1:11.41||00.08|
|3||Erebus Motorsport Penrite||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VF||1:11.46||00.13|
|4||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||1:11.50||00.17|
|5||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:11.59||00.27|
|6||Nissan Motorsport||M.Caruso/D.Fiore||Nissan Altima||1:11.67||00.34|
|7||Team Darrell Lea STIX||Will Davison||Holden Commodore VF||1:11.77||00.44|
|8||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||1:11.91||00.58|
|9||Wilson Security Racing GRM||J.Moffat/J.Golding||Volvo S60||1:11.93||00.61|
|10||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:11.96||00.63|
|11||Sengled Motorsport||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:12.02||00.69|
|12||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||1:12.09||00.77|
|13||TeamVortex||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||1:12.09||00.77|
|14||Clipsal 500 Adelaide Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||1:12.15||00.83|
|15||DJR Team Penske||S.Pye/T.D’Alberto||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:12.18||00.85|
|16||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:12.18||00.86|
|17||GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Nissan Altima||1:12.37||01.04|
|18||DJR Team Penske||F.Coulthard/L.Youlden||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:12.45||01.13|
|19||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||1:12.64||01.31|
|20||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||1:12.65||01.33|
|21||carsales Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:12.68||01.35|
|22||Preston Hire Racing||L.Holdsworth/K.Reindler||Holden Commodore VF||1:12.71||01.38|
|23||Super Black Racing||Chris Pither||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:12.90||01.58|
|24||Plus Fitness Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Holden Commodore VF||1:12.95||01.62|
|25||Team Cooldrive||T.Blanchard/M.Jones||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.10||01.78|
|26||Erebus Motorsport||Shae Davies||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.16||01.84|