Fabian Coulthard set the fastest lap before light rain turned into fully wet conditions in Practice 2 for the Repco SuperSprint The Bend.
Coulthard’s benchmark 1:48.3432s came when the field was still circulating on slicks, as all had done throughout Practice 1, but the Shell V-Power Racing Team driver also appeared competitive on wets.
He was able to extract a 2:08.1621s from the #12 Mustang with just over three minutes to go, before conditions and therefore lap speed deteriorated further.
Team-mate Scott McLaughlin ended up only 16th after a wild spin on his first run proper, and was baulked during the better part of the wet tyre period of the session.
Brad Jones Racing’s Nick Percat finished second fastest with a personal best 1:48.5735s on a slick-shod #8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore, while Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore) was third-fastest.
Jamie Whincup clocked a 1:48.8300s on his first timed lap which saw Car #88 set the early pace in light rain, and that effort saw him through for fourth-fastest when the session came to a close.
The time was under threat from McLaughlin when the championship leader reportedly took new tyres for his first run proper before he ran over a kerb and the rear of the #17 Mustang broke free off the complex of right-handers.
Mostert did manage to move the benchmark in setting a 1:48.7151s in his Walkinshaw Andretti United entry before Coulthard set that 1:48.3432s just before halfway through.
Percat split them with the 1:48.5735s before being first to switch from soft slicks to wets with 10 minutes remaining in the half-hour session.
The best wet pace was initially ‘eights’ before the rain became heavier, meaning the pace-setters struggled to get into the ‘nines’, and lap times were no better than low-2:13s by the very end.
“It’s pretty sketchy out there when it’s really wet,” said Coulthard of the ultra-smooth South Australian circuit.
“It’s like driving around on an ice rink so it’s going to be interesting depending on how much it rains and when it rains.
“It’s good to have a balance in both conditions.”
Percat was among those to have an off, late in the session at Turn 17, while Shane van Gisbergen (#97 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore) did not get an opportunity to lift himself off the bottom of the timing screen given he was chasing set-up during the slick tyre running.
Qualifying for Race 25 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, which culminates in a Top 15 Shootout, starts at 12:10 local time/12:40 AEST.
Results: Practice 2
|1||12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Mustang GT||1:48.3432|
|2||8||R&J Batteries||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||1:48.5735||0:00.2303|
|3||25||Mobil 1 Appliances Online||Chaz Mostert||Holden Commodore ZB||1:48.7151||0:00.3719|
|4||88||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||1:48.8300||0:00.4868|
|5||20||DEWALT Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.1302||0:00.7870|
|6||15||Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Ford Mustang GT||1:49.2504||0:00.9072|
|7||55||Supercheap Auto Racing||Jack Le Brocq||Ford Mustang GT||1:49.2711||0:00.9279|
|8||7||NED Whisky Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Ford Mustang GT||1:49.3384||0:00.9952|
|9||18||IRWIN Racing||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.4391||0:01.0959|
|10||5||Truck Assist Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Ford Mustang GT||1:49.4685||0:01.1253|
|11||35||Yellow Cover Racing||Garry Jacobson||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.5637||0:01.2205|
|12||3||Team CoolDrive||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.6505||0:01.3073|
|13||6||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||1:49.7704||0:01.4272|
|14||4||SCT Motor Sports||Jack Smith||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.9314||0:01.5882|
|15||34||UNIT Racing||Zane Goddard||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.9343||0:01.5911|
|16||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Mustang GT||1:50.1212||0:01.7780|
|17||44||Boost Mobile Racing||James Courtney||Ford Mustang GT||1:50.3408||0:01.9976|
|18||22||Team SYDNEY||Chris Pither||Holden Commodore ZB||1:50.3707||0:02.0275|
|19||99||Penrite Racing||Anton De Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||1:50.4997||0:02.1565|
|20||19||Local Legends Racing||Alex Davison||Holden Commodore ZB||1:50.7151||0:02.3719|
|21||9||Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||1:50.7277||0:02.3845|
|22||2||Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing||Bryce Fullwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1:51.0635||0:02.7203|
|23||14||TRG Transport||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1:51.1817||0:02.8385|
|24||97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||1:58.8938||0:10.5506|