Cameron Waters has edged his provisional pole-sitting team-mate, Lee Holdsworth, in the seventh and final practice session for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
The #6 and #5 Tickford Mustangs finished Practice 7 in first and second spot on a 2:04.3493s and 2:04.4642s respectively, while Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert ended up third on a 2:04.5490s.
Waters’ initial flyer in the Monster Energy Ford was a 2:05.2119s which was significantly faster than the rest of the field until Shane van Gisbergen logged his first time, a 2:04.6283s.
That effort would in fact leave the #97 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore in fourth position at the end of the session, and it stood up as the very fastest for some time due to the early focus on pit stop practice.
WAU was seen bleeding the brakes on its #25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore before Mostert drove it into second position in the 32nd minute with a 2:05.1729s.
Fabian Coulthard joined van Gisbergen in the fours when he clocked a 2:04.6906s on the third run for the #12 Shell V-Power Mustang, which underwent a transaxle change during Practice 6.
As some drivers shifted their programmes to Top 10 Shootout simulations, Nick Percat moved to third in the 43rd minute with a 2:05.0363s in a #8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore reportedly on green tyres.
Jamie Whincup, who had a brush with the wall at Forrest’s Elbow in first half-hour, also went for a simulation shortly after Percat’s, which produced the then-fastest first sector at Mount Panorama.
The four-time Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 winner was quickest to the second sector but a rear lock-up saw him only set a 2:05.2753s which moved the #888 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore to seventh.
Scott McLaughlin made a 2:04.9858s to go third with a dozen minutes remaining, before Holdsworth set the lap which would be his best with six minutes left.
McLaughlin then improved further to a 2:04.6621s despite the #17 Shell V-Power Mustang exhibiting some nervousness into The Cutting.
Mostert briefly held second before Waters went for a hot lap just prior to the chequered flag.
Despite hanging the tail of the #6 Mustang out as he exited Forrest’s Elbow, the 2017 Sandown 500 winner still went to the top by a touch over a tenth of a second.
“There were a couple of little moments, but it was just the conditions,” said Waters, who also got partially into the dirt at McPhillamy Park in the early stages.
“There’s so much wind around; it just changes the car corner to corner quite a lot.
“I think we’re pretty happy and comfortable in the car; obviously can kind of do the time, which is nice. We’re getting through our programme.”
Waters was also heard making a comment regarding brake pads, about which he explained, “Just got a bit of a vibration, I think it’s in the brake package, but we’re just trying to work out what that is.
“The boys will sort it out. Obviously, it’s not slowing us down that much; it’d just be nice if it was fixed.”
McLaughlin was left in fifth spot, one ahead of team-mate Coulthard.
Percat was next on the timesheet, from Whincup, James Courtney (#44 Boost Mobile Mustang), and Anton De Pasquale (#99 Penrite ZB Commodore), meaning the top 10 was filled by the 10 cars which will run in the Shootout.
Each car in the 25-strong field was given a practice start on the main straight after the session concluded.
The Top 10 Shootout is the next for the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship field, or part thereof, and gets underway at 17:05 local time/AEDT.
Results: Practice 7
|1||6||Monster Energy Racing||C.Waters/W.Davison||Ford Mustang GT||2:04.3493|
|2||5||Truck Assist Racing||L.Holdsworth/M.Caruso||Ford Mustang GT||2:04.4642||0:00.1149|
|3||25||Mobil 1 Appliances Online||Chaz Mostert||Holden Commodore ZB||2:04.5490||0:00.1997|
|4||97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||S.van Gisbergen/G.Tander||Holden Commodore ZB||2:04.6283||0:00.2790|
|5||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||S.McLaughlin/T.Slade||Ford Mustang GT||2:04.6621||0:00.3128|
|6||12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||F.Coulthard/T.D’Alberto||Ford Mustang GT||2:04.6906||0:00.3413|
|7||8||R&J Batteries||N.Percat/T.Randle||Holden Commodore ZB||2:05.0363||0:00.6870|
|8||888||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||J.Whincup/C.Lowndes||Holden Commodore ZB||2:05.2753||0:00.9260|
|9||44||Boost Mobile Racing||J.Courtney/B.Feeney||Ford Mustang GT||2:05.3418||0:00.9925|
|10||99||Penrite Racing||Anton De Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||2:05.5510||0:01.2017|
|11||7||NED Whisky Racing||A.Heimgartner/D.O’Keeffe||Ford Mustang GT||2:05.5544||0:01.2051|
|12||14||Cub Cadet Mowers||T.Hazelwood/J.Boys||Holden Commodore ZB||2:05.8740||0:01.5247|
|13||9||Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||2:05.9312||0:01.5819|
|14||55||Supercheap Auto Racing||J.Le Brocq/J.Moffat||Ford Mustang GT||2:06.1561||0:01.8068|
|15||35||Yellow Cover Racing||G.Jacobson/D.Russell||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.2029||0:01.8536|
|16||19||Local Legends Racing||A.Davison/J.Webb||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.4354||0:02.0861|
|17||2||Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing||B.Fullwood/K.Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.6267||0:02.2774|
|18||34||UNIT Racing||J.Kostecki/Z.Goddard||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.8474||0:02.4981|
|19||4||SCT Motor Sports||J.Smith/J.Perkins||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.9148||0:02.5655|
|20||15||Castrol Racing||R.Kelly/D.Wood||Ford Mustang GT||2:06.9620||0:02.6127|
|21||20||DEWALT Racing||S.Pye/D.Fiore||Holden Commodore ZB||2:06.9785||0:02.6292|
|22||3||Team CoolDrive||M.Jones/T.Blanchard||Holden Commodore ZB||2:07.3741||0:03.0248|
|23||18||IRWIN Racing||M.Winterbottom/J.Golding||Holden Commodore ZB||2:07.5028||0:03.1535|
|24||40||Team Valvoline GRM||T.Everingham/J.Ojeda||Holden Commodore ZB||2:08.0012||0:03.6519|
|25||22||Team SYDNEY||C.Pither/S.Owen||Holden Commodore ZB||2:08.1228||0:03.7735|