McLaughlin quickest, Red Bull HRT duo miss qualifying cut

Daniel Herrero

Saturday 4th August, 2018 - 2:22pm

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Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin went fastest in Practice 2 in Sydney but both Red Bull HRT Commodores will have to go into the first part of knockout Armor All Qualifying later today.

The half-hour session was just the second time the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship field had hit the track at this weekend’s Red Rooster Sydney SuperNight 300 event after a 40-minute hit-out the night before.

Neither Jamie Whincup (#1 ZB Commodore) nor Shane van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore) went faster in Practice 2 and finished 16th and 17th on combined times.

“That’s not ideal,” said Whincup when told of the result.

“We didn’t get a good run in the end there which we would have liked (but) that’s the way it goes. We’ll go in Q1, we’ve still got a good opportunity to qualify somewhere good up the front and then we’ll see what tonight brings.”

Van Gisbergen put the outcome down to a reluctance to use up rubber before tonight’s 300km race.

“We have no tyres,” said the New Zealander.

“That’s the problem with this sport at the moment and we didn’t want to use race tyres. We haven’t dipped into Q1 tyres yet.”

Despite predictions that Practice 1 would be the quicker of the two sessions, McLaughlin’s best in the early afternoon running of 1:28.8369s just edged Mostert’s 1:28.8546s of the night before.

It began in pedestrian fashion with Chaz Mostert’s first flyer at 1:29.7322s standing up as the fastest lap of the session until the 21st minute.

That was when Fabian Coulthard, who was only 19th on Friday night, took the #12 Shell V-Power FGX Falcon to the top with a 1:29.4076s on not quite new tyres and put him sixth on combined practice times.

McLaughlin (#17 DJR Team Penske FGX Falcon) soon usurped his team-mate with a lap second to Mostert’s night time effort, and would subsequently improve to the very fastest time across the two practice sessions.

“It’s different, a lot different this track in the day, that’s for sure,” observed the championship leader.

“It’s funny, it’s like you’re back in your natural habitat. I love the night, not saying anything against it, but it’s nice to push that limit a little bit harder in the day.

“The car is really good, I had so much left in it. I probably lost a good three or four tenths in that last corner there; I’m excited.”

Rick Kelly would have just missed the combined top 10 but instead put himself second-fastest with a last-minute 1:28.8517s in the #15 Castrol Nissan Altima.

Mostert (#55 Supercheap Auto FGX Falcon) was nearly half a second slower than his best of Practice 1, which stood up for third-fastest on combined times.

Coulthard had been bundled back to 11th by the time he was completing his final lap with the chequered flag out, but elevated himself to third for the session and fourth combined, which will force Anton De Pasquale (#99 Penrite ZB Commodore) to go into the first part of qualifying.

Scott Pye (#2 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore), like Mostert, had to rely on his time under lights to make the top 10 in fifth.

The next three cars of Tim Slade (#14 Freightliner ZB Commodore), James Courtney (#25 WAU ZB Commodore), and Jack Le Brocq (#19 Tekno Autosports ZB Commodore) all improved in the Western Sydney sunshine.

Mark Winterbottom (#5 The Bottle-O FGX Falcon) and James Golding (#34 Wilson Security ZB Commodore), the latter of whom also had to lift in Practice 2, rounded out the combined top 10.

The rest will have to go into the first part of the three-stage knockout qualifying process later in the day.

Among them are Craig Lowndes (#888 Autobarn ZB Commodore) and David Reynolds (#9 Erebus ZB Commodore), who didn’t improve by enough in Practice 2 and finished 14th and 15th for the two sessions overall.

Armor All Qualifying starts this afternoon at 1620 local time/AEST, and Race 21 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship under lights at 1920.

Results: Practice 2

1  17  Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Falcon FG/X 1:28.8369*SS
2  15  Castrol Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 1:28.8517 SS 00.0148
3  12  Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG/X 1:28.9272 SS 00.0903
4  14  Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.1456 SS 00.3087
5  25  Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.1789 SS 00.3420
6  19  Tekno Autosport Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.2510 SS 00.4141
7  34  Wilson Security Racing GRM James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.3080 SS 00.4711
8  99  Erebus Thermosphere Racing Anton de Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.3722 SS 00.5353
9  55  Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 1:29.3742 SS 00.5373
10  23  Drive Racing Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 1:29.4160 SS 00.5791
11 888  Autobarn Lowndes Racing Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.4344 SS 00.5975
12   9  Erebus Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.4356 SS 00.5987
13   8  Team Mrs Mac’s powered by Dare Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.6118 SS 00.7749
14   6  Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 1:29.6464 SS 00.8095
15  33  Wilson Security Racing GRM Garth Tander Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.6616 SS 00.8247
16   1  Red Bull Holden Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.7788 SS 00.9419
17   2  Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.8268 SS 00.9899
18   5  The Bottle-O Racing Team Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 1:29.8326 SS 00.9957
19   7  Plus Fitness Racing Andre Heimgartner Nissan Altima 1:29.8399 SS 01.0030
20  18  Preston Hire Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore ZB 1:29.8523 SS 01.0154
21  97  Red Bull Holden Racing Team Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.1280 SS 01.2911
22  78  Team Harvey Norman Simona De Silvestro Nissan Altima 1:30.3014 SS 01.4645
23  56  RABBLE.club Racing Richie Stanaway Ford Falcon FG/X 1:30.3248 SS 01.4879
24  35  Bigmate Racing Todd Hazelwood Ford Falcon FG/X 1:30.4204 SS 01.5835
25  21  Team CoolDrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore ZB 1:30.4507 SS 01.6138
26 230  Milwaukee Racing Will Davison Ford Falcon FG/X 1:30.5836 SS 01.7467

Results Combined Practice 1 and 2

1  17  Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Falcon FG/X P2  1:28.8369*SS
2  15  Castrol Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima P2  1:28.8517 SS 00.0148
3  55  Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X P1  1:28.8546 SS 00.0177
4  12  Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG/X P2  1:28.9272 SS 00.0903
5   2  Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB P1  1:29.0593 SS 00.2224
6  14  Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore ZB P2  1:29.1456 SS 00.3087
7  25  Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Holden Commodore ZB P2  1:29.1789 SS 00.3420
8  19  Tekno Autosport Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB P2  1:29.2510 SS 00.4141
9   5  The Bottle-O Racing Team Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X P1  1:29.3060 SS 00.4691
10  34  Wilson Security Racing GRM James Golding Holden Commodore ZB P2  1:29.3080 SS 00.4711
11  99  Erebus Thermosphere Racing Anton de Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB P2  1:29.3722 SS 00.5353
12   8  Team Mrs Mac’s powered by Dare Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB P1  1:29.4149 SS 00.5780
13  23  Drive Racing Michael Caruso Nissan Altima P2  1:29.4160 SS 00.5791
14 888  Autobarn Lowndes Racing Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore ZB P2  1:29.4344 SS 00.5975
15   9  Erebus Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB P2  1:29.4356 SS 00.5987
16   1  Red Bull Holden Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB P1  1:29.4531 SS 00.6162
17  97  Red Bull Holden Racing Team Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB P1  1:29.4786 SS 00.6417
18   6  Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X P1  1:29.5711 SS 00.7342
19  33  Wilson Security Racing GRM Garth Tander Holden Commodore ZB P2  1:29.6616 SS 00.8247
20   7  Plus Fitness Racing Andre Heimgartner Nissan Altima P2  1:29.8399 SS 01.0030
21  18  Preston Hire Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore ZB P2  1:29.8523 SS 01.0154
22  78  Team Harvey Norman Simona De Silvestro Nissan Altima P1  1:30.0780 SS 01.2411
23  56  RABBLE.club Racing Richie Stanaway Ford Falcon FG/X P2  1:30.3248 SS 01.4879
24  35  Bigmate Racing Todd Hazelwood Ford Falcon FG/X P2  1:30.4204 SS 01.5835
25  21  Team CoolDrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore ZB P2  1:30.4507 SS 01.6138
26 230  Milwaukee Racing Will Davison Ford Falcon FG/X P1  1:30.5699 SS 01.7330

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