Scott McLaughlin set the fastest lap before crabbing back to the pits after hitting the wall in Practice 5 for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
The 2019 Great Race winner laid down a 2:04.3716s with green tyres, 43 minutes into the hour-long session at Mount Panorama, but came to grief when he went for an apparent qualifying simulation right at the end.
McLaughlin was fastest to the first sector but a snaggy gear change as he came down the mountain caused the back of the #17 Mustang to break free, and the left-rear corner made sizeable contact with the wall just above Forrest’s Elbow before the front was pulled in.
McLaughlin spun into that left-hander and while he was able to drive back to the pits, the Shell V-Power Racing Team machine was obviously bent.
The incident may have also denied several of his rivals a chance to improve on their personal best lap times, leaving championship rookie Bryce Fullwood second at 0.1133s off the pace in the #2 Mobil 1 Middy’s ZB Commodore.
Thursday fast man Cameron Waters did go fastest to the second sector subsequent to McLaughlin’s crash but opted to pit instead of completing the lap, and the #6 Monster Energy Mustang remained fourth on the timesheet, behind the sister Tickford Racing entry of Lee Holdsworth (#5 Truck Assist Mustang).
Jamie Whincup (#888 ZB Commodore) ended up fifth, one spot up on fellow Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver Shane van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore).
When the session began, it was only Nick Percat in the ‘fives’ having driven the #8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore to a 2:05.9806s.
McLaughlin clocked a 2:05.8809s and then a 2:05.6373s on his subsequent flyers but Waters held sway after his first run proper with a 2:05.5595s.
Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore) then closed to 0.0072s off the pace, before McLaughlin raised the bar with a 2:05.3983s despite a somewhat untidy run out of The Chase.
James Courtney (#44 Boost Mobile Mustang) came close to knocking #17 off its perch when he set a 2:05.4422s on his third run, while Mostert did beat it when he punched out a 2:04.7582s just after the half-hour mark.
That lap was reportedly completed on new tyres while McLaughlin and Waters went out with used rubber for their third runs.
The former moved to second with a 2:05.3750s before the latter clocked a 2:04.6758s to take over first position.
Jamie Whincup took greens for his third run and, after giving up one lap due to a moment at Griffins, drove the #888 Triple Eight Race Engineering car to a 2:04.6280s.
McLaughlin went out on new tyres on his fourth run and duly reclaimed first position with a 2:04.3716s, before Holdsworth moved to second with a 2:04.5299s.
Fullwood, the recently re-signed Walkinshaw Andretti United driver, then fired in a 2:04.4849s, bumping Holdsworth to third, from Waters and Whincup, ahead of the final runs.
Only a handful had a chance to then go for really hot laps due to McLaughlin’s crash, leaving that top five unchanged.
Van Gisbergen got in a 2:04.6792s just before that moment to move up to sixth, ahead of Mostert, Alex Davison (#19 Local Legends ZB Commodore), Courtney, and Scott Pye (#20 DeWalt ZB Commodore).
Percat ended up 11th and Jack Le Brocq (#55 Supercheap Auto Mustang) 12th in a session run once again in slightly overcast conditions.
Both of the cars which caused red flags in Practice 4 were back on-track.
Todd Hazelwood putting the #14 Cub Cadet ZB Commodore 15th and Tyler Everingham ended up at the foot of the timesheet in the #40 Valvoline ZB Commodore after their co-drivers had incidents in the preceding hit-out.
Although there were a handful of offs in Practice 5, McLaughlin’s was the only major on-track mishap, while Matt Stone Racing encountered an oil leak in the #35 Yellow Cover ZB Commodore.
The next session for the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship field is Qualifying, at 16:05 local time/AEDT.
Results: Practice 5
|1||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Mustang GT||2:04.3716|
|2||2||Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing||Bryce Fullwood||Holden Commodore ZB||2:04.4849||0:00.1133|
|3||5||Truck Assist Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Ford Mustang GT||2:04.5299||0:00.1583|
|4||6||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||2:04.5437||0:00.1721|
|5||888||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||2:04.6280||0:00.2564|
|6||97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||2:04.6792||0:00.3076|
|7||25||Mobil 1 Appliances Online||Chaz Mostert||Holden Commodore ZB||2:04.7582||0:00.3866|
|8||19||Local Legends Racing||Alex Davison||Holden Commodore ZB||2:04.8075||0:00.4359|
|9||44||Boost Mobile Racing||James Courtney||Ford Mustang GT||2:04.8543||0:00.4827|
|10||20||DEWALT Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||2:04.9309||0:00.5593|
|11||8||R&J Batteries||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||2:04.9438||0:00.5722|
|12||55||Supercheap Auto Racing||Jack Le Brocq||Ford Mustang GT||2:05.1590||0:00.7874|
|13||99||Penrite Racing||Anton De Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||2:05.2312||0:00.8596|
|14||7||NED Whisky Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Ford Mustang GT||2:05.2912||0:00.9196|
|15||14||Cub Cadet Mowers||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore ZB||2:05.4324||0:01.0608|
|16||12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Mustang GT||2:05.4877||0:01.1161|
|17||15||Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Ford Mustang GT||2:05.5619||0:01.1903|
|18||34||UNIT Racing||J.Kostecki/Z.Goddard||Holden Commodore ZB||2:05.5973||0:01.2257|
|19||18||IRWIN Racing||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB||2:05.8190||0:01.4474|
|20||9||Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||2:05.8702||0:01.4986|
|21||3||Team CoolDrive||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.3173||0:01.9457|
|22||35||Yellow Cover Racing||Garry Jacobson||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.5916||0:02.2200|
|23||4||SCT Motor Sports||Jack Smith||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.7636||0:02.3920|
|24||22||Team SYDNEY||C.Pither/S.Owen||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.8063||0:02.4347|
|25||40||Team Valvoline GRM||Tyler Everingham||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.9094||0:02.5378|