McLaughlin fastest in practice, Lowndes last

Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin has finished on top in Friday practice at the Perth SuperSprint as Craig Lowndes ended the day’s second session in last position.

McLaughlin was quickest from Cameron Waters and Fabian Coulthard, with Lowndes consigned to 26th having possibly been baulked on his final flyer at Barbagallo Raceway.

With combined Practice 1 and Practice 2 times determining the starting order for the return of the three-part Armor All Qualifying format, all 26 cars lapped faster in the latter session than Andre Heimgartner’s benchmark from the first.

McLaughlin made sure that he would have direct passage to Part 2 of qualifying tomorrow when he reeled out the first ‘54’ just beyond the 40-minute mark in the #17 Shell V-Power Racing FGX Falcon.

That 0:54.8871s remained fastest for the final five minutes, though Waters came within a whisker just before the chequered flag in the Monster Energy FGX Falcon.

“I kept stuffing up the bloody first all day,” McLaughlin admitted.

“Both sets of tyres beforehand, I didn’t really get a nice banker before that lap so I was pretty nervous that whole green tyre lap; if I made a stuff-up we were out.

“I think there’s a lot more in myself and obviously Fabs as well, great for us to both be up there and tomorrow… it’s just nice to be in the (top) 10.”

Coulthard (DJR Team Penske) made for three Fords in the top three while Red Bull HRT’s Jamie Whincup was first of the Holdens in fourth, one position ahead of rookie Anton de Pasquale (Erebus Thermosphere Racing).

Mark Winterbottom (The Bottle-O Racing), Tim Slade (Freightliner Racing), Chaz Mostert (Supercheap Auto Racing), and Shane van Gisbergen (Triple Eight) followed.

Simona de Silvestro was the first of the Nissan Motorsport Altimas and the final driver to make the cut, 0.4616s slower than McLaughlin’s fastest lap.

The next six cars missed the top 10 by less than a tenth of a second, headed by David Reynolds (Erebus Penrite Racing).

Scott Pye (Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing) was 14th, Garth Tander (Wilson Security GRM) 19th, Heimgartner (Nissan Motorsport) 21st, and Lowndes (Autobarn Lowndes Racing) 26th and last.

Replays suggested, however, that Lowndes was delayed by Reynolds through Turn 5 on his hot lap.

“We had a good first sector, got past a couple of cars over (Turns) 3 into 4.

“As we were going over (Turn) 5 we caught a competitor and had to run really wide.

“It was lucky, I actually don’t know why I didn’t trigger off that trigger (on exit), but I was completely wide which then ran completely wide into (Turn) 6.

“Look, it’s one of those things. You lose the goodness of tyre around here and you lose a lot of time.

“If we’d completed the lap we should have been in the (top) 10 somewhere, which is what we were aiming for.”

Pye was among the first to start his final run and was in fact fastest before McLaughlin set the ultimate fastest lap.

Whincup completed 30 laps, at least seven more than any other driver, and appeared to be using the start of the session as a race simulation given that he completed fewer runs (five) on the circuit than anyone else.

The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship field is back on-track tomorrow for Practice 3 at 1000 local time/1200 AEST.

Results: Practice 2

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Falcon FG/X 0:54.8871
2 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 0:54.9051 0:00.0180
3 12 Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG/X 0:55.0348 0:00.1477
4 1 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 0:55.0828 0:00.1957
5 99 Erebus Thermosphere Racing Anton De Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 0:55.1977 0:00.3106
6 5 The Bottle-O Racing Team Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 0:55.2121 0:00.3250
7 14 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore ZB 0:55.3189 0:00.4318
8 55 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 0:55.3333 0:00.4462
9 97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 0:55.3381 0:00.4510
10 78 Team Harvey Norman Simona de Silvestro Nissan Altima 0:55.3487 0:00.4616
11 9 Erebus Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 0:55.3730 0:00.4859
12 23 Drive Racing Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 0:55.3753 0:00.4882
13 8 Blackwoods Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 0:55.3831 0:00.4960
14 2 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 0:55.4028 0:00.5157
15 400 Milwaukee Racing Will Davison Ford Falcon FG/X 0:55.4048 0:00.5177
16 15 Castrol Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 0:55.4295 0:00.5424
17 19 Tekno Autosports Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 0:55.4638 0:00.5767
18 18 Preston Hire Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore ZB 0:55.5416 0:00.6545
19 33 Wilson Security Racing GRM Garth Tander Holden Commodore ZB 0:55.5609 0:00.6738
20 25 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Holden Commodore ZB 0:55.5819 0:00.6948
21 7 Plus Fitness Racing Andre Heimgartner Nissan Altima 0:55.6492 0:00.7621
22 21 Team CoolDrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore ZB 0:55.6877 0:00.8006
23 35 Bigmate Racing Todd Hazelwood Ford Falcon FG/X 0:55.7923 0:00.9052
24 56 MEGA Racing Richie Stanaway Ford Falcon FG/X 0:55.8108 0:00.9237
25 34 Wilson Security Racing GRM James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 0:55.8288 0:00.9417
26 888 Autobarn Lowndes Racing Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore ZB 0:56.1100 0:01.2229

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