Alexandre Premat put Scott McLaughlin’s #17 FGX Falcon on top of Practice 2 as rain continued to fall at Mount Panorama.
Cars were thin on the ground for much of the hour-long co-driver session with only eight reaching a double-digit number of laps.
Premat, however, notched up 18 laps in total, chipping away until he set a 2:35.1824s on his 16th lap.
Conditions hardly improved during the session, if at all, and the fastest lap for the #17 Shell V-Power Ford was over 10 seconds away from Will Davison’s Practice 1 benchmark.
“It was pretty good,” said Premat.
“We went through our process and plan going through that session and towards the end it got a bit harder because there were only a few cars on track so it was aquaplaning in a straight line.
“We went through a few things in the car; car felt pretty good in the wet conditions.
“We know that this weekend is going to be dry, especially Saturday and Sunday, so just trying to get some miles and going through the plan with Ludo and the boys.”
Garry Jacobson was fastest first up and had moved back into top spot with a 2:35.8261s in the 17th minute before immediately putting the cue in the rack.
The #11 Castrol Nissan Altima ended up 0.6437s off the pace when Premat finally dislodged him from first position, approximately 40 minutes later.
“The main agenda today was to get comfortable,” said Jacobson, who is co-driving for Rick Kelly.
“We could have done more laps, but I think we both felt pretty comfortable today after six laps each in the wet. We’re feeling good.”
Earl Bamber did even fewer laps in the #97 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore but was temporarily fastest with the 2:35.9013s which stood up for third-fastest.
Dean Canto (#5 The Bottle-O FGX Falcon) finished the session in fourth while Tony D’Alberto moved up to fifth on his 14th and final lap in the #12 DJR Team Penske FGX Falcon.
Rounding out the top 10 were Dale Wood (#21 CoolDrive ZB Commodore), David Russell (#6 Monster Energy FGX Falcon), 2017 winner Luke Youlden (#9 Penrite ZB Commodore), Steven Richards (#888 Autobarn ZB Commodore), and James Moffat (#55 Supercheap Auto FGX Falcon).
Neither Paul Dumbrell (#1 Triple Eight ZB Commodore), Jonathon Webb (#19 Tekno Autosports ZB Commodore), nor Will Brown (#99 Erebus ZB Commodore) appeared at all.
An engine problem cut short track time for the #23 Industrial Athlete Nissan Altima of Michael Caruso and Dean Fiore as latter set just the one, somewhat representative lap during the session.
The sister #78 Harvey Norman Nissan Altima and Tickford’s #56 Rabble.Club FGX Falcon also spent time in the garage at the start of proceedings due to a gearbox and sensor problem respectively.
Practice 3, which is open to all drivers, starts at 1505 local time/AEST.
Results: Practice 2
|1||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Alexandre Premat||Ford Falcon FG/X||2:35.1824|
|2||11||Castrol Racing||Garry Jacobson||Nissan Altima||2:35.8261||0:00.6437|
|3||97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Earl Bamber||Holden Commodore ZB||2:35.9013||0:00.7189|
|4||5||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Dean Canto||Ford Falcon FG/X||2:36.6303||0:01.4479|
|5||12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Tony D’Alberto||Ford Falcon FG/X||2:36.7785||0:01.5961|
|6||21||Team CoolDrive||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore ZB||2:36.7801||0:01.5977|
|7||6||Monster Energy Racing||David Russell||Ford Falcon FG/X||2:37.2193||0:02.0369|
|8||9||Erebus Penrite Racing||Luke Youlden||Holden Commodore ZB||2:37.6523||0:02.4699|
|9||888||Autobarn Lowndes Racing||Steven Richards||Holden Commodore ZB||2:37.7972||0:02.6148|
|10||55||Supercheap Auto Racing||James Moffat||Ford Falcon FG/X||2:37.8113||0:02.6289|
|11||25||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||Jack Perkins||Holden Commodore ZB||2:38.2488||0:03.0664|
|12||230||Milwaukee Racing||Alex Davison||Ford Falcon FG/X||2:38.9722||0:03.7898|
|13||78||Team Harvey Norman||Alex Rullo||Nissan Altima||2:39.2353||0:04.0529|
|14||2||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||Warren Luff||Holden Commodore ZB||2:39.3210||0:04.1386|
|15||18||Preston Hire Racing||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore ZB||2:39.3439||0:04.1615|
|16||8||Repco Authorised Service Team||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||2:39.6486||0:04.4662|
|17||34||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Richard Muscat||Holden Commodore ZB||2:39.6732||0:04.4908|
|18||35||Bigmate Racing||Bryce Fullwood||Holden Commodore VF2||2:40.2985||0:05.1161|
|19||7||Castrol/Plus Fitness Racing||Aaren Russell||Nissan Altima||2:40.3159||0:05.1335|
|20||23||Industrial Athlete Racing||Dean Fiore||Nissan Altima||2:40.6292||0:05.4468|
|21||33||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Chris Pither||Holden Commodore ZB||2:40.6679||0:05.4855|
|22||14||Freightliner Racing||Ashley Walsh||Holden Commodore ZB||2:42.0632||0:06.8808|
|23||56||RABBLE.club Racing||Steve Owen||Ford Falcon FG/X||2:50.5328||0:15.3504|