Scott McLaughlin laid down an impressive 1:08.3s in Practice 4 at the Ipswich SuperSprint but team-mate Fabian Coulthard will have to go the long way through Armor All Qualifying.
McLaughlin broke his own Virgin Australia Supercars Championship practice record at Queensland Raceway while Coulthard in the other Shell V-Power Racing entry and Penrite Racing’s David Reynolds were the biggest names to miss the top 10 ahead of the following knockout qualifying session.
All four Tickford/23Red Mustangs and both Red Bull Holden Racing Team entries earned a bye to Part 2 of qualifying, with Chaz Mostert best of the rest at 0.2361s off the pace in the #55 Supercheap Auto Mustang.
McLaughlin was second with a 1:08.8455s before the final runs in the 30-minute practice session, before setting a quick 1:08.3985s in the #17 Mustang.
“There’s a bit of me, driving wise, I had a big think overnight just where I could improve in driving and work the best there,” said the championship leader.
“The car, we needed to make it a bit more lively for me; I don’t mind it being sideways and whatever, I think it’s going to help us in the race and have a bit more turn.
“I don’t care if we’re speedway a bit, just be a little bit loose and get me turned and go, it helps and that’s certainly what we tried to do today.”
Mostert was prominent throughout and eventually ended up second, while Jamie Whincup was 0.0203s slower again in the #88 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore.
Next was Whincup’s team-mate, Shane van Gisbergen, who was briefly top during the final runs with a 1:08.7449s in the #97 ZB Commodore, while Lee Holdsworth rounded out the top five in the #5 The Bottle-O Mustang.
Will Davison (#23 Milwaukee Mustang) found no improvement on his final run but the 1:08.8261s which had him on top with three minutes remaining stood up for sixth position in the end.
Cameron Waters was the man to knock Coulthard out of the top 10 when the Tickford driver scraped in himself.
He consolidated his berth in Part 2 of qualifying, even though it was ultimately unnecessary, by improving to seventh with a 1:08.8350s with the chequered flag out in the #6 Monster Energy Mustang.
Rounding out the top 10 were Anton De Pasquale (#99 Erebus ZB Commodore), Andre Heimgartner (#7 Plus Fitness Altima), and Rick Kelly (#15 Castrol Altima).
Coulthard (#12 Mustang) was 0.0377s outside of the top 10, and Reynolds (#9 ZB Commodore) 0.1391s away in 13th.
“Obviously we rolled out and the track was kind of probably the best condition it has been all weekend and my car felt heaps better than it did yesterday because the track temp was so different,” said Reynolds.
“And then I just think we got let into a false sense of security and led down the garden path.
“Now I’m in the remedial session, so I’ve got to start there.”
Armor All Qualifying for Race 20 at the Century Batteries Ipswich SuperSprint starts at 1120 local time/AEST.
Results: Practice 4
|1||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Mustang GT||1:08.3985|
|2||55||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Mustang GT||1:08.6346||0:00.2361|
|3||88||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.6549||0:00.2564|
|4||97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.7449||0:00.3464|
|5||5||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Lee Holdsworth||Ford Mustang GT||1:08.8052||0:00.4067|
|6||23||Milwaukee Racing||Will Davison||Ford Mustang GT||1:08.8261||0:00.4276|
|7||6||Monster Energy Racing Team||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||1:08.8350||0:00.4365|
|8||99||Penrite Racing||Anton De Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.9429||0:00.5444|
|9||7||Plus Fitness Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Nissan Altima||1:08.9502||0:00.5517|
|10||15||Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:09.0436||0:00.6451|
|11||12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Mustang GT||1:09.0813||0:00.6828|
|12||8||Hare & Forbes Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||1:09.1335||0:00.7350|
|13||9||Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||1:09.1827||0:00.7842|
|14||35||Bigmate Racing||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1:09.1983||0:00.7998|
|15||14||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore ZB||1:09.3218||0:00.9233|
|16||22||Mobil 1 MEGA Racing||James Courtney||Holden Commodore ZB||1:09.3436||0:00.9451|
|17||18||Irwin Racing||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB||1:09.4068||0:01.0083|
|18||34||Boost Mobile Racing||James Golding||Holden Commodore ZB||1:09.4155||0:01.0170|
|19||2||Mobil 1 MEGA Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||1:09.4200||0:01.0215|
|20||33||Boost Mobile Racing||Michael Caruso||Holden Commodore ZB||1:09.4222||0:01.0237|
|21||78||Team Harvey Norman||Simona De Silvestro||Nissan Altima||1:09.4826||0:01.0841|
|22||21||Team CoolDrive||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||1:09.5379||0:01.1394|
|23||3||RABBLE.club Racing||Garry Jacobson||Nissan Altima||1:09.9178||0:01.5193|
|24||19||Truck Assist TEKNO Racing||Jack Le Brocq||Holden Commodore ZB||1:10.6256||0:02.2271|