Scott McLaughlin sets pace in Practice 3 in Darwin

Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin has again set the pace in the final practice session at the BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown as he all but matched his Practice 2 effort.

The Shell V-Power Racing driver clocked a 1:06.1184s in the #17 Mustang, just under four hundredths of a second slower than he went the afternoon prior, leaving him 0.2110s ahead of David Reynolds in the #9 Penrite ZB Commodore.

Third-placed Jamie Whincup split the two Erebus Motorsport entries with Anton De Pasquale 0.3541s slower than McLaughlin’s best, while Shane van Gisbergen was a late mover to ninth after a mid-session front anti-rollbar change in the #97 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore.

De Pasquale was immediately into the mid-sixes in the #99 ZB Commodore with a 1:06.5968s on his first flyer and a 1:06.5666s next time around.

He stayed on top until McLaughlin set what would be fastest of Practice 3 in the ninth minute of 30-minute session, with the DJR Team Penske pilot not improving on nearly new tyres for his final run.

Whincup was 14th just prior to the chequered flag before taking his #88 Triple Eight ZB Commodore around Hidden Valley Raceway at a time 0.0346s slower than Reynolds’ best.

Tickford’s best was Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) in fifth at 1:06.4931s, one position ahead of Kelly Racing’s best in Andre Heimgartner (#7 Plus Fitness Altima).

Scott Pye (#2 Mobil 1 Mega ZB Commodore) and Tim Slade (#14 Freightliner ZB Commodore) were next, both within half a second of McLaughlin.

Both Triple Eight cars took new rear springs as soon as they finished their first runs, while #97 also had a new anti-rollbar installed around halfway into the session.

Van Gisbergen jumped from 18th to ninth, 0.5237s slower than McLaughlin, with the chequered flag out, while Jack Le Brocq (#19 Truck Assist ZB Commodore) rounded out the top 10.

“We were just a day behind,” said van Gisbergen.

“We made some huge changes overnight and just reverse what we’ve done. I haven’t been really comfortable with the car, but back to old school sort of way and the car was fine, it’s really good, but a little bit slow.

“Day behind, but hopefully we can make some tunes for quali. We’ve got an extra run in quali (ie starting in Part 1). Hopefully we can make it better.”

Chaz Mostert (#55 Supercheap Auto Mustang) was 11th, while Fabian Coulthard had an off at Turn 1 on his way to 15th in the #12 DJR Team Penske Mustang.

The latter was not concerned despite being 0.6101s off the pace.

“I’m actually not too stressed,” said Coulthard.

“We tried a couple of things. We had a good run yesterday in P2. I think (when) we put some tyres on it, we’ll be fine.”

Armor All Qualifying for Race 15 starts at 1315 local time/1345 AEST.

Results: Practice 3

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Mustang GT 1:06.1184
2 9 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.3294 0:00.2110
3 88 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.3640 0:00.2456
4 99 Penrite Racing Anton De Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.4725 0:00.3541
5 6 Monster Energy Racing Team Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 1:06.4931 0:00.3747
6 7 Plus Fitness Racing Andre Heimgartner Nissan Altima 1:06.5523 0:00.4339
7 2 Mobil 1 MEGA Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.5900 0:00.4716
8 14 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.5979 0:00.4795
9 97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.6421 0:00.5237
10 19 Truck Assist TEKNO Racing Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.6498 0:00.5314
11 55 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Mustang GT 1:06.6633 0:00.5449
12 18 Irwin Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.7120 0:00.5936
13 23 Milwaukee Racing Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 1:06.7134 0:00.5950
14 78 Team Harvey Norman Simona De Silvestro Nissan Altima 1:06.7143 0:00.5959
15 12 Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Mustang GT 1:06.7285 0:00.6101
16 15 Castrol Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 1:06.7579 0:00.6395
17 22 Mobil 1 MEGA Racing James Courtney Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.8064 0:00.6880
18 5 The Bottle-O Racing Team Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 1:06.8151 0:00.6967
19 8 Dunlop Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 1:07.0034 0:00.8850
20 3 RABBLE.club Racing Garry Jacobson Nissan Altima 1:07.0368 0:00.9184
21 34 Boost Mobile Racing James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 1:07.0533 0:00.9349
22 33 Boost Mobile Racing Chris Pither Holden Commodore ZB 1:07.0562 0:00.9378
23 21 Team CoolDrive Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 1:07.0739 0:00.9555
24 4 SCT Logistics Racing Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 1:07.3136 0:01.1952
25 35 Bigmate Racing Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 1:07.3347 0:01.2163

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