Caruso flies in the final Sydney practice

Tom Howard

Saturday 19th August, 2017 - 12:32pm


Michael Caruso

Michael Caruso confirmed his strong pace by topping the final practice session at the Red Rooster Sydney Super Sprint.

The Nissan Motorsport driver, who was fastest in Friday’s opening practice, shot to the top of the times in the dying moments of the final outing before qualifying.

Caruso managed to fire in a 1:28.86s to eclipse Scott McLaughlin by 0.2s who sat atop the timesheet for the majority of the session.

“I think the thing I’m probably most happy about over the last two day is that it’s consistent,” said Caruso.

“Clearly over the last few months that’s what we haven’t seen from our cars. Now the important stuff starts so hopefully we can do it in the next few sessions.”

McLaughlin used a green tyre in the hit out but was unable to clock a time in the 1:28s bracket.

Tim Slade also continued his impressive showing in the #14 Brad Jones Racing Commodore as he held second until Caruso’s late effort that demoted him to third.

Fabian Coulthard ensured both DJR Team Penske Ford Falcons were inside the top four, with the Kiwi 0.4s adrift of the pace.

Mark Winterbottom emerged as the top Prodrive runner in fifth as he continues to deliver with his new set-up direction.

Meanwhile, Craig Lowndes was the fastest of the three Triple Eight Holdens in sixth, while team-mates Shane van Gisbergen eighth and Jamie Whincup in 14th positions respectively.

Cameron Waters split Lowndes and reigning Supercars champion van Gisbergen in seventh, with the top 10 completed by Tekno Autosports’ Will Davison and David Reynolds (Erebus Motorsport).

Brad Jones Racing heads into qualifying with all three cars showing pace with Nick Percat and Tim Blanchard narrowly outside of the Top 10.

Chaz Mostert was unable to replicate the pace he showed on Friday after a mistake on his final hot lap saw him remain in 16th spot.

“I have no idea (how much time lost with off at last corner),” said Mostert.

“It was only practice. Obviously you try to do your best lap and just the car didn’t feel quite great today.

“I think it was more how I warmed my tyres up, didn’t get the most amount of heat into them, so overall I won’t look into this session.

“I’ll just think about yesterday and the car still feels reasonably close.”

The Supercars field will return for a 20 minute qualifying at 1335 before a 31 lap race on 1625 AEST.

Results: Practice 3, Red Rooster Sydney Super Sprint

1 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 1:28.8603  
2 Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Falcon FG/X 1:29.1059 0.2456
3 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 1:29.3265 0.4662
4 Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG/X 1:29.3489 0.4886
5 The Bottle-O Racing Team Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 1:29.4132 0.5529
6 TeamVortex Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 1:29.4724 0.6121
7 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 1:29.5089 0.6486
8 Red Bull Holden Racing Aust Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 1:29.5275 0.6672
9 TEKNO Woodstock Racing Will Davison Holden Commodore VF 1:29.5728 0.7125
10 Erebus Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore VF 1:29.6023 0.7420
11 ACDelco Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 1:29.6270 0.7667
12 Team CoolDrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VF 1:29.6491 0.7888
13 Sengled Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 1:29.6906 0.8303
14 Red Bull Holden Racing Aust Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 1:29.7698 0.9095
15 Wilson Security Racing GRM Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 1:29.8255 0.9652
16 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 1:29.8456 0.9853
17 MEGA Racing Jason Bright Ford Falcon FG/X 1:29.9001 1.0398
18 Mobil 1 HSV Racing James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 1:29.9297 1.0694
19 Mobil 1 HSV Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore VF 1:29.9770 1.1167
20 Wilson Security Racing GRM James Moffat Holden Commodore VF 1:29.9951 1.1348
21 carsales Racing Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 1:30.0772 1.2169
22 Repair Management Aust Racing Alex Davison Holden Commodore VF 1:30.3313 1.4710
23 Preston Hire Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VF 1:30.3366 1.4763
24 Repair Management Aust Racing Alex Rullo Holden Commodore VF 1:30.3825 1.5222
25 Erebus GB Galvanizing Racing Dale Wood Holden Commodore VF 1:30.6199 1.7596
26 Team Harvey Norman Simona De Silvestro Nissan Altima 1:30.7750 1.9147