Warren Luff has gone fastest in the final co-driver session at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 as Tony D’Alberto encountered a transaxle issue in Fabian Coulthard’s #12 Mustang.
D’Alberto drew a red flag when he stopped in the Murray’s Corner run-off area just beyond a quarter of a way into the hour of running which formed Practice 6 at Mount Panorama.
Remarkably, that was not the end of his session, with the Shell V-Power Racing Team managing to replace what was to have been the race transaxle in the 41 minutes which #12 spent in the pits before it was sent back out.
He managed to eke out three tenths’ worth of lap speed in the handful of minutes which remained in the session to end up 16th on a 2:06.7452s.
Luff was 1.2855s quicker on a 2:05.4597s in Chaz Mostert’s #25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore, while Thomas Randle was the first of two Brad Jones Racing drivers to make the top 10, in second position.
The Super2 Series leader finished 0.2820s off the pace in the #8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore, just under a tenth quicker than the Red Bull Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander, while Tim Slade was 14th in Scott McLaughlin’s #17 Mustang.
Tander (#97 Commodore) set the early pace with a 2:07.8834s and then a 2:07.3198s before James Golding (#18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore) clocked a 2:07.2648s on his third lap.
Slade (Shell V-Power Racing Team) moved the marker to a 2:07.2534s on his fourth lap but that was bettered almost immediately by James Moffat’s (#55 Supercheap Auto Mustang) 2:06.7104s.
Luff then set a 2:06.5132s before Tander reclaimed top spot with a 2:06.0056s on his second run.
Car #12’s mishap triggered a red flag in the 17th minute, and a delay of almost eight minutes before the session restarted.
When it did, Tander went faster again on consecutive laps, the first a 2:05.9169s and the second a 2:05.8175s, before Will Davison (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) took up second spot with a 2:06.1607s.
Dale Wood had pitted earlier in the session with the #15 Castrol Mustang blowing smoke, which primary driver and Kelly Racing co-owner Rick Kelly implied was down to oil overfill.
In a sign that there were indeed no ill effects for the green Ford, Wood improved on consecutive laps to sit fourth just after the half-hour mark on a 2:06.5850s.
Tander’s low-fives stood as the best laps until just before 15 minutes to go when Luff, a driver with whom he has achieved a podium at Bathurst, got down to a 2:05.4597s.
It was only minutes later that D’Alberto hopped back into Car #12, as Randle jumped from 15th to second with a 2:05.7417s.
Tander’s best was that 2:05.8175s while Moffat ended up fourth on a 2:05.8450s and David Russell drove Matt Stone Racing’s #35 Yellow Cover ZB Commodore to a 2:06.0686s which was good enough for fifth.
Wood ended up sixth, ahead of Davison, Will Brown (#9 Penrite ZB Commodore), Zane Goddard in the repaired #34 Unit ZB Commodore, and Jordan Boys (#14 Cub Cadet ZB Commodore).
The provisional pole-sitting #5 Truck Assist Mustang normally driven by Lee Holdsworth finished 11th in the hands of Michael Caruso, four spots up on the #888 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore in which Craig Lowndes had taken the helm.
The final hour of practice for the weekend will start at 11:35 local time/AEDT.
Results: Practice 6
|1||25||Mobil 1 Appliances Online||Warren Luff||Holden Commodore ZB||2:05.4597|
|2||8||R&J Batteries||Thomas Randle||Holden Commodore ZB||2:05.7417||0:00.2820|
|3||97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore ZB||2:05.8175||0:00.3578|
|4||55||Supercheap Auto Racing||James Moffat||Ford Mustang GT||2:05.8450||0:00.3853|
|5||35||Yellow Cover Racing||David Russell||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.0686||0:00.6089|
|6||15||Castrol Racing||Dale Wood||Ford Mustang GT||2:06.0871||0:00.6274|
|7||6||Monster Energy Racing||Will Davison||Ford Mustang GT||2:06.0885||0:00.6288|
|8||9||Penrite Racing||William Brown||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.0892||0:00.6295|
|9||34||UNIT Racing||Zane Goddard||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.1074||0:00.6477|
|10||14||Cub Cadet Mowers||Jordan Boys||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.2133||0:00.7536|
|11||5||Truck Assist Racing||Michael Caruso||Ford Mustang GT||2:06.3653||0:00.9056|
|12||44||Boost Mobile Racing||Broc Feeney||Ford Mustang GT||2:06.4524||0:00.9927|
|13||7||NED Whisky Racing||Dylan O’Keeffe||Ford Mustang GT||2:06.5223||0:01.0626|
|14||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Tim Slade||Ford Mustang GT||2:06.5452||0:01.0855|
|15||888||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.7202||0:01.2605|
|16||12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Tony D’Alberto||Ford Mustang GT||2:06.7452||0:01.2855|
|17||3||Team CoolDrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.7929||0:01.3332|
|18||99||Penrite Racing||Brodie Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.8090||0:01.3493|
|19||4||SCT Motor Sports||Jack Perkins||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.8906||0:01.4309|
|20||18||IRWIN Racing||James Golding||Holden Commodore ZB||2:07.0788||0:01.6191|
|21||19||Local Legends Racing||Jonathon Webb||Holden Commodore ZB||2:07.2723||0:01.8126|
|22||2||Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing||Kurt Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB||2:07.4925||0:02.0328|
|23||20||DEWALT Racing||Dean Fiore||Holden Commodore ZB||2:07.5316||0:02.0719|
|24||22||Team SYDNEY||Steve Owen||Holden Commodore ZB||2:07.7749||0:02.3152|
|25||40||Team Valvoline GRM||Jayden Ojeda||Holden Commodore ZB||2:08.0955||0:02.6358|