Early lap leaves Whincup on top in Practice 2

Jamie Whincup

An early lap from Jamie Whincup saw the Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver end the second Virgin Australia Supercars Championship practice session on top at the WD-40 Phillip Island 500.

Whincup set his fastest time on his first flying lap, an effort that lasted the distance despite a late flurry which saw times tumble in the closing seconds.

Whincup headed Scott McLaughlin by more than 0.2s after the 40-minute session, with the second DJR Team Penske Falcon of Fabian Coulthard less than a tenth further back.

“We put good tyres on at the start, then good tyres on at the end,” said Whincup.

“Detuned the car unfortunately during the session, so I didn’t go as quick at the end.

“Both Penske cars are very quick so although we went fast early, we’re probably not as quick… the track wasn’t as good as the end.

“We changed the car quite a bit so I’m putting it down to the set-up change, not so much the tyre.”

The session start was delayed by 30 minutes after a heavy Carrera Cup crash immediately prior to the session saw the tyre wall at Lukey Heights undergo repair.

When the session began, Whincup set a 1:29.9856s lap on his first flying lap, a time 1.6s faster than anyone else had managed to that point in the session.

The opening minutes were less busy than opening practice, with many opting to complete a single timed lap before returning to the pit lane.

The session was interrupted with a red flag 10 minutes in for debris on the front straight, which appeared to come off Tood Hazelwood’s Matt Stone Racing Falcon.

Behind Whincup’s early salvo, a number of other drivers improved on their own personal bests once the session restarted, with Rick Kelly moving to third and Fabian Coulthard to fifth.

A locked brake for Coulthard saw the DJR Team Penske driver take to the escape road at the Turn 4 hairpin, running around the return road behind the gravel trap and rejoining.

Heading back into the pits midway through the session, Shane van Gisbergen arrived too hot and found himself on the grass approaching the speed limit sign at pit entry before heading down the lane.

Erebus Motorsport was the first team to respond to Whincup’s early lap, with David Reynolds banking a 1:30.9551s and Antone De Pasquale 1:31.2609s.

They were the first really representative laps other than Whincup’s in the session.

The rookie then improved  to a 1:30.8102s, moving to third fastest behind Scott McLaughlin, who’d banked a 1:30.2052s.

A series of qualifying simulations late in the session saw the order shuffle dramatically in the final moments, including the 23Red Racing entry of Will Davison which jumped to fourth with 1:30.7332s.

Shane van Gisbergen made that fifth place, before Nick Percat and Mark Winterbottom improved to demote Davison to the bottom end of the top 10.

Supercars will next be on track for Qualifying on Saturday at 1205, before the 57-lap Race 9 of the championship at 1545.

Results: Virgin Australia Supercars, WD-40 Phillip Island 500, Practice 2

Pos Car Competitor/Team Driver Vehicle Time
1 1 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.986
2 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Falcon FG/X 1:30.205
3 12 Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG/X 1:30.299
4 200 The Bottle-O Racing Team Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 1:30.541
5 8 Coregas Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.578
6 25 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.586
7 55 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 1:30.619
8 97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.621
9 230 Milwaukee Racing Will Davison Ford Falcon FG/X 1:30.733
10 2 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.754
11 9 Erebus Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.787
12 99 Erebus Thermosphere Racing Anton de Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.810
13 33 Wilson Security Racing GRM Garth Tander Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.881
14 14 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.900
15 35 Bigmate Racing Todd Hazelwood Ford Falcon FG/X 1:30.957
16 23 Drive Racing Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 1:31.041
17 21 Team CoolDrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore ZB 1:31.184
18 56 MEGA Racing Richie Stanaway Ford Falcon FG/X 1:31.224
19 888 Autobarn Lowndes Racing Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore ZB 1:31.263
20 78 Team Harvey Norman Simona De Silvestro Nissan Altima 1:31.382
21 19 Tekno Autosport Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 1:31.411
22 15 Castrol Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 1:31.415
23 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 1:31.491
24 34 Wilson Security Racing GRM James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 1:31.546
25 18 Preston Hire Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore ZB 1:31.584
26 7 Plus Fitness Racing Andre Heimgartner Nissan Altima 1:31.705

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