Scott McLaughlin has led a Mustang sweep of the top three while Shane van Gisbergen missed the top 10 in final practice at the Truck Assist Winton SuperSprint.
The Shell V-Power Fords of McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard were split by Tickford Racing’s Chaz Mostert at the end of the half-hour session, with two tenths of a second covering the trio.
Jamie Whincup was fourth fastest but his fellow Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver van Gisbergen will have to go into the first part of the following Armor All Qualifying session which sets the grid for Race 14 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
McLaughlin held a margin of almost half a second on the field ahead of the final runs with a 1:18.9340s on used tyres in Car #17.
Winton Motor Raceway was largely bathed in sunshine despite the threat of grey clouds in the distance, but McLaughlin was in fact one of several who struggled to extract the most from new tyres.
The Race 13 winner found only an incremental gain on greens on his final run, moving the benchmark down to a 1:18.9202s to leave Mostert 0.1882s away in the #55 Supercheap Auto Racing entry.
Coulthard (#12 Mustang) was only 15th when the chequered flag came out and facing the prospect of going into Part 1 of qualifying for a second day straight but he lifted himself into the top 10 with a 1:19.1155s.
“I just didn’t quite have the tyres up, especially the rears for the first sector,” said McLaughlin of his troubles with new tyres.
“The second lap was actually really good, I think I did the fastest second sector so that was good. Something to learn there, maybe a small warm-up procedure or something I did. We’ll look at it, but overall really good pace.
“We made a bit of a chunk last night, we changed a fair bit because I didn’t just feel good over the kerbs. It’s definitely better there today. We’ll see how we go.”
As expected, each of the rest of the top 10 set their respective fastest laps at the end.
Whincup (#88 ZB Commodore) was 0.2738s off the pace, and David Reynolds (#9 Penrite ZB Commodore) within half a tenth of that factory Holden entry.
Will Davison was back towards the pointy end of the field as he put the #23 Milwaukee Mustang into sixth, two positions ahead of Tickford stablemate Cameron Waters, whose #6 Monster Energy Mustang had a rear anti-roll bar adjustment during the session.
Scott Pye (#2 Mobil 1 Mega ZB Commodore) split those Campbellfield Fords, while Anton De Pasquale (#99 Erebus ZB Commodore) and Nick Percat (#8 Honda Motorcycles ZB Commodore) rounded out the top 10.
Another Tickford driver in Lee Holdsworth (#5 The Bottle-O Mustang) was the last man knocked out of the top 10, by Waters, while Rick Kelly (#15 Castrol Altima) was first of the Nissans in 12th.
Van Gisbergen was 0.67901s off the pace and 0.1989s away from the top 10 in 15th in the #97 ZB Commodore.
Chris Pither ended up 24th in Richie Stanaway’s #33 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore after the latter was withdrawn overnight due to a neck injury while wildcard Jack Smith (#4 SCT Logistics ZB Commodore) brought up the rear of the 25-car field.
There were a handful of relatively minor offs but the session ran uninterrupted for the duration.
Armor All Qualifying for Race 14 starts at 1110 local time/AEST.
Results: Practice 2
|1||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Mustang GT||1:18.9202|
|2||55||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Mustang GT||1:19.1084||0:00.1882|
|3||12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Mustang GT||1:19.1155||0:00.1953|
|4||88||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||1:19.1940||0:00.2738|
|5||9||Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||1:19.2373||0:00.3171|
|6||23||Milwaukee Racing||Will Davison||Ford Mustang GT||1:19.2883||0:00.3681|
|7||2||Mobil 1 MEGA Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||1:19.3136||0:00.3934|
|8||6||Monster Energy Racing Team||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||1:19.3638||0:00.4436|
|9||99||Penrite Racing||Anton De Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||1:19.3710||0:00.4508|
|10||8||Honda Motorcycles Dealer Team||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||1:19.4004||0:00.4802|
|11||5||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Lee Holdsworth||Ford Mustang GT||1:19.4067||0:00.4865|
|12||15||Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:19.5334||0:00.6132|
|13||35||Bigmate Racing||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1:19.5520||0:00.6318|
|14||14||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore ZB||1:19.5903||0:00.6701|
|15||97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||1:19.5993||0:00.6791|
|16||7||Plus Fitness Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Nissan Altima||1:19.6043||0:00.6841|
|17||22||Mobil 1 MEGA Racing||James Courtney||Holden Commodore ZB||1:19.6232||0:00.7030|
|18||18||Irwin Racing||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB||1:19.6295||0:00.7093|
|19||3||RABBLE.club Racing||Garry Jacobson||Nissan Altima||1:19.7602||0:00.8400|
|20||78||Team Harvey Norman||Simona De Silvestro||Nissan Altima||1:19.7857||0:00.8655|
|21||21||Team CoolDrive||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||1:20.1055||0:01.1853|
|22||19||Truck Assist TEKNO Racing||Jack Le Brocq||Holden Commodore ZB||1:20.2177||0:01.2975|
|23||34||Boost Mobile Racing||James Golding||Holden Commodore ZB||1:20.2417||0:01.3215|
|24||33||Boost Mobile Racing||Chris Pither||Holden Commodore ZB||1:20.4822||0:01.5620|
|25||4||SCT Logistics Racing||Jack Smith||Holden Commodore ZB||1:20.6356||0:01.7154|