James Moffat has driven Tickford’s Supercheap Auto Mustang to the fastest lap time in the first co-driver session at Mount Panorama, while there was drama for Craig Lowndes.
Moffat laid down a 2:06.0584s in the final minutes of the hour-long Practice 2 hit-out at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 before Penrite Racing’s Brodie Kostecki came up 0.0245s shy.
Tim Slade was third-quickest in Scott McLaughlin’s Shell V-Power Mustang with a personal best 2:06.1158s, ahead of Will Davison (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) and Warren Luff (#25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore).
Lowndes was classified 23rd in the #888 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore having notched up only eight laps before a power steering failure and small fire put paid to his session.
As was the case in Practice 1, the #9 Penrite Racing ZB Commodore was fastest after the first flyers, but this time in the hands of Will Brown.
The Super2 Series contender had clocked a 2:08.9538s which was quickly eclipsed by Moffat’s 2:08.4898s in Jack Le Brocq’s #55 Ford, and Slade’s 2:08.3014s in Car #17.
Moffat was back on top when he set a 2:08.1288s on his third flyer before Tickford team-mate Will Davison drove Cameron Waters’ #6 Mustang, which was fastest in Practice 1, to a 2:08.1288s.
Davison backed that up with a 2:07.8874s on his very next lap, which was usurped when Garth Tander clocked a 2:07.8673s in the #97 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore.
The men who won the 2009 Bathurst 1000 therefore occupied the top two after the first runs before Slade came out and reset the fastest lap three times out of four when he started his second run.
Slade’s 2:07.5436s stood only briefly, until team-mate Tony D’Alberto clocked a 2:07.3943s in the sister #12 DJR Team Penske entry.
Erebus Motorsport’s new signing, Brodie Kostecki (#99 ZB Commodore), bumped the red-and-white Fords by setting a 2:07.2445s just beyond the half-hour mark.
Davison then reclaimed the ascendancy with a 2:06.8494s at the start of his third run, and produced a 2:06.5881s on the lap which followed.
James Golding split #6 and #99 with a 2:06.9896s which vaulted the #18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore from 12th on the timing screen, before David Russell moved up to third with a 2:07.0458s in the #35 Yellow Cover ZB Commodore.
Russell’s effort came with a touch over 10 minutes remaining and just preceded the ‘happy hour’ in the session.
That began when Slade rolled out a 2:06.4440s before Luff set a 2:06.2333s and Will Davison a 2:06.1832s.
Slade eked out a few more hundredths relative to the existing fastest lap in clocking a 2:06.1158s before Moffat jumped from 17th with the 2:06.0584s.
D’Alberto was on to eclipse both of them until he made a small lock-up at Murray’s Corner and could only record a 2:06.4134s on that final-minute lap.
The chequered flag had already been unfurled when Brodie Kostecki rebounded from eighth to second by driving Car #99 to a 2:06.0829s.
“It’s nice to remember how to do it; it’s been a fair while,” said Moffat.
“The car was pretty solid then. Full credit to the team and Brad (Wischusen) the engineer in particular to roll the car out of the truck close to where it needs to be.
“You know what this track’s like, it’s all about confidence. If you’ve got that confidence to especially find that speed down the bottom, then the lap time comes.”
Behind Slade, Davison ended up fourth, from Luff and D’Alberto, whose best was a 2:06.2567s.
Rounding out the top 10 were Brown, Tander, Russell, and Golding.
Lowndes’ drama saw Car #888 blowing smoke before the seven-time Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 winner was called into the pits and took no further part in proceedings.
The #3 CoolDrive ZB Commodore piloted by Tim Blanchard was seen at the start of the piece with a door flapping open, but the session ran uninterrupted.
Practice 3, which is open to all drivers, starts at 16:00 local time/AEDT.
Results: Practice 2
|1||55||Supercheap Auto Racing||James Moffat||Ford Mustang GT||2:06.0584|
|2||99||Penrite Racing||Brodie Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.0829||0:00.0245|
|3||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Tim Slade||Ford Mustang GT||2:06.1158||0:00.0574|
|4||6||Monster Energy Racing||Will Davison||Ford Mustang GT||2:06.1832||0:00.1248|
|5||25||Mobil 1 Appliances Online||Warren Luff||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.2333||0:00.1749|
|6||12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Tony D’Alberto||Ford Mustang GT||2:06.2567||0:00.1983|
|7||9||Penrite Racing||William Brown||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.3586||0:00.3002|
|8||97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.5142||0:00.4558|
|9||35||Yellow Cover Racing||David Russell||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.7766||0:00.7182|
|10||18||IRWIN Racing||James Golding||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.8782||0:00.8198|
|11||5||Truck Assist Racing||Michael Caruso||Ford Mustang GT||2:07.0234||0:00.9650|
|12||20||DEWALT Racing||Dean Fiore||Holden Commodore ZB||2:07.0720||0:01.0136|
|13||4||SCT Motor Sports||Jack Perkins||Holden Commodore ZB||2:07.1174||0:01.0590|
|14||34||UNIT Racing||Zane Goddard||Holden Commodore ZB||2:07.2417||0:01.1833|
|15||44||Boost Mobile Racing||Broc Feeney||Ford Mustang GT||2:07.4445||0:01.3861|
|16||19||Local Legends Racing||Jonathon Webb||Holden Commodore ZB||2:07.4665||0:01.4081|
|17||7||NED Whisky Racing||Dylan O’Keeffe||Ford Mustang GT||2:07.5072||0:01.4488|
|18||8||R&J Batteries||Thomas Randle||Holden Commodore ZB||2:07.5366||0:01.4782|
|19||15||Castrol Racing||Dale Wood||Ford Mustang GT||2:07.5567||0:01.4983|
|20||14||Cub Cadet Mowers||Jordan Boys||Holden Commodore ZB||2:07.6149||0:01.5565|
|21||3||Team CoolDrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore ZB||2:07.7465||0:01.6881|
|22||2||Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing||Kurt Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB||2:08.1686||0:02.1102|
|23||888||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore ZB||2:08.3643||0:02.3059|
|24||22||Team SYDNEY||Steve Owen||Holden Commodore ZB||2:08.3659||0:02.3075|
|25||40||Team Valvoline GRM||Jayden Ojeda||Holden Commodore ZB||2:09.6401||0:03.5817|