Scott McLaughlin has gone fastest in Practice 2 for the OTR SuperSprint The Bend by just under a tenth of a second over Chaz Mostert.
Either of those two drivers held top spot throughout the half-hour hit-out, which ran in barely double-digit ambient temperatures like that which preceded it.
McLaughlin extracted a best of 1:15.2014s from the #17 Shell V-Power Mustang and Mostert a 1:15.2934s from the #25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore, while Fabian Coulthard finished third at 0.1454s off the pace.
With any lingering wet verges having more chance to dry between sessions, McLaughlin almost beat the fastest lap from Practice 1, set by James Courtney (#44 Boost Mobile Mustang), when he rolled out immediately with a 1:15.5208s.
Mostert did better it with a 1:15.4648s on his first flyer, before McLaughlin reportedly took new tyres for his second run and clocked a 1:15.2130s.
Several found more time on their own seconds runs, with Coulthard (#12 Mustang) moving to 0.1338s back from his team-mate before Mostert split them on a 1:15.2934s.
DJR Team Penske crossed the tyres on Car #17 before sending McLaughlin for this third run, during which he managed to improve marginally to a 1:15.2014s.
He could not find any more time on his subsequent two runs, but nor could Mostert or Coulthard.
Mostert did set his best middle sector on his final flyer but ran over the edge of the road entering the main straight, compromising the final split.
His Walkinshaw Andretti United team-mate Bryce Fullwood improved after the chequered flag, putting his #2 Mobil 1 Middy’s ZB Commodore fourth on the timesheet with a personal best 1:15.4107s having also topped Rookie Practice earlier in the morning.
Despite getting more time out of ‘diagonalled’ tyres, McLaughlin does not see that as a viable strategy in qualifying.
“That was more just to get a feel for the car again after a little change,” he explained.
“I don’t think you’ll be able to do the lap on the second time. You have one go, maybe it won’t deg(rade) as (much as) some other tracks, but it’s going to be like a Darwin; one lap will be your best one, but if you muck it up, you might be able to get away with the second.”
Scott Pye (#20 DeWalt ZB Commodore) ended up fifth, from Anton De Pasquale (#99 Penrite ZB Commodore), Nick Percat (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore), Jamie Whincup (#88 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore), Todd Hazelwood (#14 TRG Transport ZB Commodore), and Andre Heimgartner (#7 Ned Mustang).
Courtney finished 14th-quickest with a best of 1:15.7566s, just over half a second adrift of McLaughlin.
Shane van Gisbergen wound up 17th courtesy of a 1:15.8595s which he set before an off at Turn 11 (Turn 17 on the International Circuit) in the final five minutes.
Qualifying for Race 28 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, which includes a Top 15 Shootout, is set to get underway at 12:55 local time/13:25 AEST.
Results: Practice 2
|1||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Mustang GT||1:15.2014|
|2||25||Mobil 1 Appliances Online||Chaz Mostert||Holden Commodore ZB||1:15.2934||0:00.0920|
|3||12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Mustang GT||1:15.3468||0:00.1454|
|4||2||Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing||Bryce Fullwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1:15.4107||0:00.2093|
|5||20||DEWALT Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||1:15.4616||0:00.2602|
|6||99||Penrite Racing||Anton De Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||1:15.5253||0:00.3239|
|7||8||R&J Batteries||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||1:15.5369||0:00.3355|
|8||88||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||1:15.5869||0:00.3855|
|9||14||TRG Transport||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1:15.5991||0:00.3977|
|10||7||NED Whisky Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Ford Mustang GT||1:15.6259||0:00.4245|
|11||55||Supercheap Auto Racing||Jack Le Brocq||Ford Mustang GT||1:15.6551||0:00.4537|
|12||15||Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Ford Mustang GT||1:15.6949||0:00.4935|
|13||5||Truck Assist Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Ford Mustang GT||1:15.7214||0:00.5200|
|14||44||Boost Mobile Racing||James Courtney||Ford Mustang GT||1:15.7566||0:00.5552|
|15||18||IRWIN Racing||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB||1:15.7864||0:00.5850|
|16||6||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||1:15.8042||0:00.6028|
|17||97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||1:15.8595||0:00.6581|
|18||3||Team CoolDrive||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||1:15.8653||0:00.6639|
|19||9||Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||1:15.8830||0:00.6816|
|20||4||SCT Motor Sports||Jack Smith||Holden Commodore ZB||1:15.9760||0:00.7746|
|21||34||UNIT Racing||Jake Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB||1:15.9787||0:00.7773|
|22||19||Local Legends Racing||Alex Davison||Holden Commodore ZB||1:16.0198||0:00.8184|
|23||22||Team SYDNEY||Chris Pither||Holden Commodore ZB||1:16.1011||0:00.8997|
|24||35||Yellow Cover Racing||Garry Jacobson||Holden Commodore ZB||1:16.1060||0:00.9046|