Shell Fords fastest in final practice at Winton

Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin has led Fabian Coulthard to a Shell V-Power Racing one-two in Practice 3 for the Winton SuperSprint.

Despite apparent early gremlins, McLaughlin ended up with the fastest time of the weekend, a 1:19.4601s.

Coulthard ran 0.2095s slower in the sister DJR Team Penske FGX Falcon while Friday fast man Michael Caruso was only a hundredth of a second further back in the Drive Nissan Altima.

Car #17 spent time in the garage early in the session with a vibration, and McLaughlin also took the opportunity to bed in another set of brakes.

He jumped from last to first with a 1:20.0991s during his third run just before 20 minutes in, despite his Ford appearing to be somewhat unsettled.

The car looked more compliant when McLaughlin set what would be the fastest lap of the 45-minute hit-out a little over 10 minutes before the end.

“The last set of tyres weren’t new, they didn’t feel as good as the previous session which were pre-marked,” McLaughlin revealed.

“We thought they were actually worse tyres, the ones I did my (fastest lap) on, but they were really good.

“The race car was good yesterday as well, we did that long run and then we actually didn’t run greens yesterday which was good.

“Concentrating on the quali car this morning because it was dry and we got away with that; it feels good.”

Coulthard was fourth ahead of his final run but gained two positions, and Caruso similarly improved with his final lap of the session.

Like Friday practice, Rick Kelly was again ever so slightly slower than his team-mate in the #15 Castrol Nissan Altima.

Scott Pye was the first to break into the 1:19s bracket in the #2 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore and ultimately ended up fifth.

Team-mate James Courtney (#25 ZB Commodore) was a position further back in his first running of the weekend after a virus saw him hospitalised for precautionary checks the day prior.

Anton De Pasquale (#99 Erebus ZB Commodore), Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy FGX Falcon), Lee Holdsworth (#400 Preston Hire ZB Commodore), and David Reynolds (#9 Erebus Penrite ZB Commodore) rounded out the top 10.

The Triple Eight trio did not figure at the pointy end, with Shane van Gisbergen (#97 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore) 17th, Craig Lowndes (#888 Autobarn ZB Commodore) 19th, and Jamie Whincup 24th (#1 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore).

“It was okay, I think we’ve made the car balance,” said van Gisbergen.

“On old tyres we were quite good then everyone jumped at the end and we didn’t.

“Whether our tyres weren’t good enough or I wasn’t quick enough, I don’t know. We’ll see what happens in quali when everyone is on the same tyres.”

Armor All Qualifying for Race 13 starts at 1240 local time/AEST.

Results: Practice 3 

1  17  Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Falcon FG/X 1:19.4601*SS
2  12  Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG/X 1:19.6696 SS 00.2095
3  23  Drive Racing Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 1:19.6797 SS 00.2196
4  15  Castrol Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 1:19.7104 SS 00.2503
5   2  Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 1:19.7650 SS 00.3049
6  25  Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Holden Commodore ZB 1:19.7893 SS 00.3292
7  99  Erebus Thermosphere Racing Anton de Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 1:19.7910 SS 00.3309
8   6  Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 1:19.8761 SS 00.4160
9 400  Preston Hire Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore ZB 1:19.8967 SS 00.4366
10   9  Erebus Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 1:19.8980 SS 00.4379
11  33  Wilson Security Racing GRM Garth Tander Holden Commodore ZB 1:19.8982 SS 00.4381
12   5  The Bottle-O Racing Team Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 1:19.9919 SS 00.5318
13  56  MEGA Racing Richie Stanaway Ford Falcon FG/X 1:20.0149 SS 00.5548
14  14  Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore ZB 1:20.0343 SS 00.5742
15  55  Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 1:20.0456 SS 00.5855
16  78  Team Harvey Norman Simona De Silvestro Nissan Altima 1:20.0682 SS 00.6081
17  97  Red Bull Holden Racing Team Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 1:20.0765 SS 00.6164
18   7  Plus Fitness Racing Andre Heimgartner Nissan Altima 1:20.1097 SS 00.6496
19 888  Autobarn Lowndes Racing Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore ZB 1:20.2337 SS 00.7736
20 230  Milwaukee Racing Will Davison Ford Falcon FG/X 1:20.3061 SS 00.8460
21  19  Tekno Autosport Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 1:20.3268 SS 00.8667
22  35  Bigmate Racing Todd Hazelwood Ford Falcon FG/X 1:20.3354 SS 00.8753
23   8  Timken Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 1:20.3441 SS 00.8840
24   1  Red Bull Holden Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 1:20.3629 SS 00.9028
25  34  Wilson Security Racing GRM James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 1:20.5666 SS 01.1065
26  21  Team Cooldrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore ZB 1:20.5737 SS 01.1136

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