Cameron Waters was fastest in Practice 1 at the NTI Townsville SuperSprint as Scott McLaughlin focused on long run pace.
Waters held first position for the majority of the half-hour session and reclaimed that spot in the ‘happy hour’ period at the end with a 1:12.5033s.
Behind the Tickford Racing driver was Triple Eight Race Engineering duo Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup, at 0.1895s and 0.2295s back respectively, while McLaughlin ended up 22nd.
When proceedings kicked off, David Reynolds and Bryce Fullwood immediately bettered the latter’s pace-setter in the preceding Rookie Practice session, although the Walkinshaw Andretti United driver’s first flyer was still 0.4836s slower than the former’s 1:13.0974s.
By the end of the first runs, Waters was on top with a 1:12.9955s in the #6 Monster Energy Mustang while Reynolds’ initial effort in the #9 Penrite ZB Commodore was still good enough for second position.
Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore) moved to second with a 1:13.0582s as the session moved past halfway and was on to go fastest on his following lap until putting in a slow third sector.
Waters was finally joined in the ‘twelves’ by the man who he had dislodged, Reynolds, when the Erebus Motorsport driver returned the favour with a 1:12.9942s on his third run.
Whincup briefly led with his 1:12.7328s with new tyres on the #88 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore for his final run, until Waters moved back into first position in the last seconds before the chequered flag.
Van Gisbergen then jumped from 18th with a 1:12.6928s from the #97 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore.
“Rolled out pretty good, little bit different to what we finished with in Darwin, bit different track, more towards our street circuit car,” said Waters.
“It’s nice when you bolt it in and it works; it’s pretty close and that’s promising. Still not perfect and it’s only Practice 1; the track’s still coming up and everything. Good start but a long way to go this weekend.
“Qualifying is going to be everything around here, more so than ever, and it’s something that my car and myself have been good at over the last few races. That’s really promising, but we’re still not there yet; we’ll keep chipping away.”
Fullwood (#2 Mobil 1 Middy’s ZB Commodore) ended up fourth with a late 1:12.8054s, ahead of James Courtney (#44 Boost Mobile Mustang), Rick Kelly (#15 Castrol Mustang), Jack Le Brocq (#55 Supercheap Auto Mustang), Reynolds, and Todd Hazelwood (#14 Black Duck ZB Commodore).
Mostert rounded out the top 10 with no advance on his 13-flat earlier in the session.
Both of the Shell V-Power Racing Team cars were outside the top 20, with Fabian Coulthard (#12 Mustang) 21st on a 1:13.6348s and McLaughlin (#17 Mustang) one position and 0.0069s further back.
The latter completed only two runs totalling a session-high 21 laps but managed to set his fastest first sector eight laps into the latter of those.
Mark Winterbottom propped up the timesheet with a best of 1:13.8993s in the #18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore.
Practice 2 at Event 7 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship starts at 11:20 local time/AEST.
Results: Practice 1
|1||6||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.5033|
|2||97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.6928||0:00.1895|
|3||88||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.7328||0:00.2295|
|4||2||Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing||Bryce Fullwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.8054||0:00.3021|
|5||44||Boost Mobile Racing||James Courtney||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.8607||0:00.3574|
|6||15||Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.9090||0:00.4057|
|7||55||Supercheap Auto Racing||Jack Le Brocq||Ford Mustang GT||1:12.9525||0:00.4492|
|8||9||Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.9942||0:00.4909|
|9||14||Team Black Duck||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.0395||0:00.5362|
|10||25||Mobil 1 Appliances Online||Chaz Mostert||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.0582||0:00.5549|
|11||7||NED Whisky Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Ford Mustang GT||1:13.0586||0:00.5553|
|12||99||Penrite Racing||Anton De Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.1189||0:00.6156|
|13||34||UNIT Racing||Zane Goddard||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.1449||0:00.6416|
|14||8||R&J Batteries||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.1842||0:00.6809|
|15||3||Team CoolDrive||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.2090||0:00.7057|
|16||35||Yellow Cover Racing||Garry Jacobson||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.2363||0:00.7330|
|17||22||Team SYDNEY||Chris Pither||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.2714||0:00.7681|
|18||20||DEWALT Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.5137||0:01.0104|
|19||19||Local Legends Racing||Alex Davison||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.5743||0:01.0710|
|20||4||SCT Motor Sports||Jack Smith||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.6167||0:01.1134|
|21||12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Mustang GT||1:13.6348||0:01.1315|
|22||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Mustang GT||1:13.6417||0:01.1384|
|23||5||Truck Assist Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Ford Mustang GT||1:13.6915||0:01.1882|
|24||18||IRWIN Racing||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB||1:13.8993||0:01.3960|