Waters pips Winterbottom in final practice
Saturday 20th March, 2021 - 12:16pm
Cameron Waters has pipped Mark Winterbottom in the second and final practice session for the Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint.
Either was the pace-setter virtually all the way through the second, half-hour hit-out at Event 2 of the Repco Supercars Championship, with honours ultimately decided during the qualifying simulations at the end.
Team 18’s Winterbottom bowled out a 1:07.9170s on his last lap proper in the #18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore but that was beaten by Waters’ 1:07.9122s just before the chequered flag in Tickford Racing’s #6 Monster Energy Mustang.
Anton De Pasquale, who was buried on the timesheet in Practice 1 having reportedly not taken new tyres on that occasion, elevated the #11 Shell V-Power Mustang to third with a 1:08.1390s, with the top five rounded out by Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore) and Shane van Gisbergen (#97 Red Bull Ampol ZB Commodore).
Waters set the early pace with a 1:08.5128s on his first flyer and a 1:08.3304s on his second, before van Gisbergen threatened to usurp him.
The Triple Eight Race Engineering driver, showing no obvious ill effects from the broken collarbone he is carrying this weekend, went fastest to the second sector before a small error at Dandenong Road.
Van Gisbergen regrouped to clock a 1:08.6772s on his next lap, leaving him fourth at the end of his first run proper, behind Waters, Tim Slade (#3 CoolDrive Mustang), and team-mate Jamie Whincup (#88 Red Bull Ampol ZB Commodore).
The second runs belonged to Team 18, as Winterbottom went top with a 1:08.1660s, one lap after recording a kerb hop at the esses while also setting a hot pace.
Team-mate Scott Pye (#20 DeWalt ZB Commodore) jumped to second around a minute later with a 1:08.2449s and was then-fastest to the second sector on his following lap.
Mostert, meanwhile, had gone to third, meaning Waters was shuffled back to fourth at the halfway mark.
Van Gisbergen’s next fling saw him roll out three straight personal bests to climb to second with a 1:08.1827s ahead of the final runs.
Just 0.0167s separated he and Winterbottom at that point, but the 2015 champion put more space between himself and the field in clocking the 1:07.9170s.
De Pasquale got as high as second at the end with his low-eight before both he and Winterbottom were bettered by Waters’ 1:07.9122s.
Said Winterbottom afterwards, “As a driver, you always want a little bit more, but from the get-go it has felt really, really nice, especially under brakes.
“These cars are quite heavy and if you can pull them up you’re half a crack at the corner, so really confident under brakes and feel good.
“So far, both sessions have been strong. That one, we can still tweak her up a bit but it’s so close.”
Mostert wound up fourth on a 1:08.1475s, leaving van Gisbergen fifth.
The rest of the top 10 was James Courtney (#44 Boost Mobile Mustang), Jack Le Brocq (#5 Truck Assist Mustang), Pye, Nick Percat (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore), and Macauley Jones (#96 Coca-Cola ZB Commodore).
Will Davison was 12th in the #17 Shell V-Power Mustang, 0.4546s off the pace, and Practice 1 fast man Whincup 14th, 0.6315s away from Waters’ benchmark.
Turn 4 became a talking point due to the extent of the dirt/gravel which drivers were dragging from inside corner apex onto the race track.
Bryce Fullwood had a spin there, although the #2 Mobil 1 Middy’s ZB Commodore swapped ends due to straddling the Turn 3 exit kerb rather than tripping up on the muck just ahead.
Qualifying for Race 3 of the season starts at 13:45 local time/AEDT.
Results: Practice 2
|1||6||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||1:07.9122|
|2||18||IRWIN Racing||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB||1:07.9170||0:00.0048|
|3||11||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Anton De Pasquale||Ford Mustang GT||1:08.1390||0:00.2268|
|4||25||Mobil 1 Appliances Online||Chaz Mostert||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.1475||0:00.2353|
|5||97||Red Bull Ampol Racing Team||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.1827||0:00.2705|
|6||44||Boost Mobile Racing||James Courtney||Ford Mustang GT||1:08.2161||0:00.3039|
|7||5||Truck Assist Racing||Jack Le Brocq||Ford Mustang GT||1:08.2308||0:00.3186|
|8||20||DEWALT Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.2449||0:00.3327|
|9||8||R&J Batteries||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.2841||0:00.3719|
|10||96||Coca-Cola Racing||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.3485||0:00.4363|
|11||9||Erebus Motorsport||William Brown||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.3492||0:00.4370|
|12||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Will Davison||Ford Mustang GT||1:08.3668||0:00.4546|
|13||3||CoolDrive Racing||Tim Slade||Ford Mustang GT||1:08.5268||0:00.6146|
|14||88||Red Bull Ampol Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.5437||0:00.6315|
|15||35||Yellow Cover Racing||Zane Goddard||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.5786||0:00.6664|
|16||7||NED Whisky Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Ford Mustang GT||1:08.5917||0:00.6795|
|17||2||Mobil 1 Middy’s Racing||Bryce Fullwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.6147||0:00.7025|
|18||14||Cub Cadet Mowers||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.6609||0:00.7487|
|19||26||Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Ford Mustang GT||1:08.6676||0:00.7554|
|20||34||UNIT Racing||Jake Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.7050||0:00.7928|
|21||19||Local Legends||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.7347||0:00.8225|
|22||22||Team SYDNEY||Garry Jacobson||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.7588||0:00.8466|
|23||99||Erebus Boost Mobile Racing||Brodie Kostecki||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.8967||0:00.9845|
|24||4||SCT Logistics||Jack Smith||Holden Commodore ZB||1:08.9068||0:00.9946|