Whincup heads Red Bull one-two in Practice 3

Mat Coch

Saturday 7th April, 2018 - 11:43am


Jamie Whincup

Jamie Whincup has topped final practice session ahead qualifying for the Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint with team-mate Shane van Gisbergen second fastest.

Whincup set his best time late in the session, stealing top spot from van Gisbergen who had held the best time for much of the 20-minute session.

“Yesterday we had a big tail wind down the back straight so you were crazy deep into the hairpin but then it was hard to pull up at the end of the back straight,” Whincup said.

“Now it’s the complete opposite, so you have to be a bit careful into the hairpin but then go super deep down the back.

“To go faster, yesterday’s conditions were great, that’s why we were in the big times. It doesn’t really matter what the time is, (I’m) just trying to be quicker than everyone else.

“Cauchi made a bit of a tune-up over night, it’s a little bit better which is nice. We’ll see what happens in qualifying.”

As the session started, van Gisbergen picked up where Triple Eight left off on Friday, recording the fastest time.

He was the first to dip into the 50-second bracket, initially a tenth clear of Tim Slade who was in turn a tenth clear of Fabian Coulthard.

Nissan drivers Michael Caruso and Rick Kelly also showed early pace, slotting in fourth and fifth fastest after the first foray on track by all cars before dropping outside of the top ten.

A 51.236s effort saw Whincup climb 10 places on his second run on track, coming at the halfway point of the session.

Garth Tander also improved on his early lap, the GRM Commodore driver edging Slade to move briefly into second fastest.

Reynolds then banked a better lap with seven minutes remaining, a 51.019s just 0.03s faster than Tander’s efforts minutes earlier to move him into second behind van Gisbergen.

Shortly afterwards Reynolds found himself baulked by van Gisbergen as the pair entered Turn 3, the Erebus driver just avoiding the back of the Red Bull Commodore.

“I mucked up my lap and just carried on, but the corner was ruined and got in his way,” van Gisbergen explained.

“Whatever, it’s practice, I’m sorry to wreck his lap, but anyway, It’s practice, who cares?”

Reynolds said, “Luckily I’ve got cat like reflexes because I saved my car and his car.

“I’m not sure what he was thinking, don’t know, I think Craig has to have a chat to him.”

Whincup ended van Gisbergen’s time at the top with three minutes remaining, banking a 50.740s to move nearly two tenths quicker than his team-mate.

An impressive lap from Todd Hazelwood saw the rookie leap into fourth fastest with two minutes remaining, though was quickly demoted as Scott McLaughlin improved his personal best to slot into third, with Hazelwood fifth at the flag.

In the closing moments van Gisbergen improved, though not enough to demote Whincup from top spot, leaving Red Bull with a one-two for the final practice session.

Craig Lowndes ended the session just inside the top 10, while Simona de Silvestro was nearly 1.2s off the pace with the slowest time ahead of qualifying.

A busy program for James Courtney saw the Walkinshaw Andretti United driver bank 20 laps, the most of any driver, while Tickford Racing’s Cam Waters and Chaz Mostert recorded just 11 laps each.

Results: Practice 3

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 1 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 0:50.7396
2 97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 0:50.8112 0:00.0716
3 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Falcon FG/X 0:50.8398 0:00.1002
4 9 Erebus Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 0:51.0190 0:00.2794
5 35 Bigmate Racing Todd Hazelwood Ford Falcon FG/X 0:51.0201 0:00.2805
6 5 The Bottle-O Racing Team Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 0:51.0311 0:00.2915
7 33 Wilson Security Racing GRM Garth Tander Holden Commodore ZB 0:51.0414 0:00.3018
8 14 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore ZB 0:51.0508 0:00.3112
9 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 0:51.1224 0:00.3828
10 888 Autobarn Lowndes Racing Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore ZB 0:51.1639 0:00.4243
11 12 Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG/X 0:51.1819 0:00.4423
12 19 Tekno Autosports Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 0:51.1963 0:00.4567
13 23 Drive Racing Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 0:51.2137 0:00.4741
14 56 Tickford Racing Richie Stanaway Ford Falcon FG/X 0:51.2401 0:00.5005
15 55 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 0:51.2740 0:00.5344
16 15 Castrol Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 0:51.2793 0:00.5397
17 25 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Holden Commodore ZB 0:51.2846 0:00.5450
18 2 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 0:51.2888 0:00.5492
19 8 Blackwoods Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 0:51.2928 0:00.5532
20 99 Erebus Thermosphere Racing Anton De Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 0:51.3097 0:00.5701
21 34 Wilson Security Racing GRM James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 0:51.3346 0:00.5950
22 18 Preston Hire Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore ZB 0:51.3534 0:00.6138
23 7 Plus Fitness Racing Andre Heimgartner Nissan Altima 0:51.4500 0:00.7104
24 230 Milwaukee Racing Will Davison Ford Falcon FG/X 0:51.5028 0:00.7632
25 21 CoolDrive Racing Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore ZB 0:51.8124 0:01.0728
26 78 Team Harvey Norman Simona de Silvestro Nissan Altima 0:51.9129 0:01.1733 has been established to provide a daily motorsport news service to the industry and fans in Australia and internationally.

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