Scott McLaughlin has set the pace in Practice 1 for the ITM Auckland SuperSprint at Pukekohe.
McLaughlin (#17 FGX Falcon) went to the top of the order during the second runs and improved in his next outing on-track to lower the benchmark to a 1:03.1150s.
He had initially bumped Shane van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore) out of top spot before Craig Lowndes (#888 National Storage ZB Commodore) split the two championship contenders in the last of 40 minutes with a 1:03.1980s on new tyres.
“It was a really good session there for us, got through a lot, driving wise as well and also with the guys. It’s good,” said McLaughlin.
“We’ve got a couple of little things that we’ve got to work on in the car and also myself that we have to look at (in Practice 2).
“I’m a little bit slower through Turns 1, 2, 3, 4 than I wanted to be, so I’ll try and look at that driving wise and see if we can come back stronger.”
Jamie Whincup (#1 ZB Commodore) made for three Triple Eight cars in a row on the timesheets with a late effort of 1:03.2371s, exactly a hundredth slower than van Gisbergen in the other Red Bull Holden Racing Team entry.
Fabian Coulthard (#12 FGX Falcon) ensured that both Shell V-Power Racing cars were also at the pointy end of the timesheets in fifth, 0.1403s away than his team-mate on his final lap of the session.
Lee Holdsworth made a significant late move to sixth in the #18 Preston Hire ZB Commodore, just ahead of Nick Percat (#8 Coregas ZB Commodore).
Michael Caruso (#23 Industrial Athlete Nissan Altima) was the fastest of the Nissan Motorsport drivers in eighth, two positions ahead of team co-owner Rick Kelly (#15 Castrol Nissan Altima).
Between them was Scott Pye (#2 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore), while David Reynolds (#9 Erebus Penrite ZB Commodore) was 11th and outgoing Tickford man Mark Winterbottom (#5 The Bottle-O FGX Falcon) first of the Campbellfield Fords in 12th.
James Courtney was 16th-fastest after three separate offs in the #25 Walkinshaw Andretti United ZB Commodore, including a half-spin off the fast first sweeper.
“It’s pretty bad, really,” said Courtney.
“(We are a) Little bit lost. Each change we did made it worse. I don’t know. I’m a bit confused by it all but the guys will have a good look at everything.
“The initial run wasn’t too bad and then each time we changed, it went backwards.
“It’s something we haven’t had for a long period now and around here where it’s nervous on entry in the rear; it makes it pretty hairy.
“We’ll try and calm that down, get a bit more turn out of it and see how we go.”
The top 23 were within a second of each other on a lap of just over a minute duration.
While the field is running solely on new tyres owing to the overseas nature of the event, the bulk of the fast times came towards the end of the session.
The second of two practice sessions today for the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship field starts at 1510 local time/1310 AEDT.
Results: Practice 1
|1||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:03.1150|
|2||888||Autobarn Lowndes Racing||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore ZB||1:03.1980||0:00.0830|
|3||97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||1:03.2271||0:00.1121|
|4||1||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||1:03.2371||0:00.1221|
|5||12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:03.2553||0:00.1403|
|6||18||Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore ZB||1:03.2882||0:00.1732|
|7||8||COREGAS NZ RACING||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||1:03.2904||0:00.1754|
|8||23||Drive Racing||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||1:03.2905||0:00.1755|
|9||2||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||1:03.3020||0:00.1870|
|10||15||Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:03.4248||0:00.3098|
|11||9||Erebus Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||1:03.4318||0:00.3168|
|12||5||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:03.4568||0:00.3418|
|13||55||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:03.5286||0:00.4136|
|14||14||COREGAS NZ RACING||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore ZB||1:03.5444||0:00.4294|
|15||6||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:03.5970||0:00.4820|
|16||25||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||James Courtney||Holden Commodore ZB||1:03.6811||0:00.5661|
|17||21||Team CoolDrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore ZB||1:03.7303||0:00.6153|
|18||99||Erebus Thermosphere Racing||Anton De Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||1:03.7708||0:00.6558|
|19||230||Milwaukee Racing||Will Davison||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:03.7772||0:00.6622|
|20||33||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore ZB||1:03.8353||0:00.7203|
|21||78||Team Harvey Norman||Simona de Silvestro||Nissan Altima||1:03.9376||0:00.8226|
|22||7||Plus Fitness Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Nissan Altima||1:03.9825||0:00.8675|
|23||56||RABBLE.club Racing||Richie Stanaway||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:04.0862||0:00.9712|
|24||34||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Golding||Holden Commodore ZB||1:04.2287||0:01.1137|
|25||19||Tekno Autosports||Jack Le Brocq||Holden Commodore ZB||1:04.2682||0:01.1532|
|26||35||Bigmate Racing||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore VF2||1:04.3608||0:01.2458|