Scott McLaughlin produced an impressive display to top an interrupted second practice session at the Clipsal 500.
The DJR Team Penske driver fired in an impressive 1:19.89s on his fifth lap as the Kiwi quickly adapted to #17 Ford Falcon FG X, having piloted a Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo S60 last year.
A flurry of quick times in the final minutes of the session saw Rick Kelly pop up into second spot just 0.08s shy of McLaughlin.
Kelly’s effort demoted 2016 champion Shane van Gisbergen, who was only the third man to log a time inside the 1:19s bracket.
His time came after the Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver suffered a spin at Turn 7.
After topping opening practice, Jamie Whincup produced a gutsy lap late in the session to move to second, although the six-time champion dropped fourth at the chequered flag.
The session was red flagged just before the halfway mark when teenager Alex Rullo found the tyre wall on the exit of Turn 5.
Rullo appeared to lock a rear wheel before sliding into the barriers which required a recovery vehicle to retrieve the car.
The teenager started the session with a five minute penalty for crossing the control line twice at the end of opening practice.
Rullo was able to return to the track later on in the session, completing 17 laps in total.
Nissan Motorsport’s Todd Kelly was fifth fastest as the Braeside squad continued its impressive start to the season.
The top 10 was completed by Nick Percat (Brad Jones Racing), David Reynolds (Erebus Motorsport), Chaz Mostert (Prodrive Racing), Fabian Coulthard (DJR Team Penske) and Michael Caruso (Nissan Motorsport).
Several cars endured scrapes with the walls including Percat, Cameron Waters (Prodrive Racing) and James Courtney (Mobil 1 HSV Racing).
Craig Lowndes’ quiet start to the Clipsal 500 continued with the Triple Eight driver 21st on the timesheets.
“The car feels good. I think we got through our program, made our adjustments,” said Lowndes.
“We set a couple of good times but from what they tell me we must have triggered the turn one kerb, so we will have a look at that. Everything’s going really well at the moment.
“We were P21 in the first session, we thought we didn’t quite get the balance right but we worked really well in that session and got it right.
“We will have a look at the data and have a look at where we are, but we posted a couple of good times, we just have to get through turn one better.”
Rookie Simona de Silvestro logged valuable miles to finish in 23rd spot.
The Supercars field will return for 20 minute qualifying session at 1430 local time.
Results: Practice Two – Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, 2017 Clipsal 500
|1||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Falcon FG/X||01:19.8|
|2||Sengled Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||01:19.9||00:00.1|
|3||Red Bull Holden Racing Aust||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||01:19.9||00:00.1|
|4||Red Bull Holden Racing Aust||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||01:20.0||00:00.2|
|5||carsales Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||01:20.1||00:00.3|
|6||Team Clipsal||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||01:20.1||00:00.3|
|7||Erebus Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VF||01:20.2||00:00.4|
|8||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||01:20.2||00:00.4|
|9||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||01:20.3||00:00.5|
|10||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||01:20.4||00:00.5|
|11||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||01:20.4||00:00.6|
|12||Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF||01:20.4||00:00.6|
|13||TEKNO Woodstock Racing||Will Davison||Holden Commodore VF||01:20.4||00:00.6|
|14||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Moffat||Holden Commodore VF||01:20.4||00:00.6|
|15||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||01:20.4||00:00.6|
|16||Mobil 1 HSV Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore VF||01:20.5||00:00.6|
|17||Erebus GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore VF||01:20.5||00:00.7|
|18||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||01:20.7||00:00.9|
|19||Mobil 1 HSV Racing||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||01:20.7||00:00.9|
|20||MEGA Racing||Jason Bright||Ford Falcon FG/X||01:20.7||00:00.9|
|21||TeamVortex||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||01:20.9||00:01.0|
|22||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||01:20.9||00:01.0|
|23||Team Harvey Norman||Simona De Silvestro||Nissan Altima||01:21.1||00:01.3|
|24||Team CoolDrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||01:21.1||00:01.3|
|25||LD Motorsport||Taz Douglas||Holden Commodore VF||01:21.5||00:01.7|
|26||LD Motorsport||Alex Rullo||Holden Commodore VF||01:23.1||00:03.3|