Waters pips Winterbottom in final practice

Cameron Waters

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

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
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

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