Whincup tops Supercars Practice 2 in Darwin

Jamie Whincup

Jamie Whincup has gone fastest with the only ‘five’ of the day in Practice 2 for the Repco Supercars Championship field at the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown.

The Red Bull Ampol Racing driver edged a man in another Triple Eight-built ZB Commodore, namely Team 18’s Scott Pye, by 0.1297s with a late flyer in just the second session run with the category’s new super soft tyre.

The Shell V-Power Racing Team’s Anton De Pasquale ended up third in what was a half-hour hit-out at Hidden Valley Raceway, just 0.0262s further back from Pye.

There was early drama when the bonnet flew up on Bryce Fullwood’s #2 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore, prompting the Darwin native to park on the inside of the main straight.

That resulted in a brief red flag period, at which point there had been no time for anyone to complete a lap, before the field was let loose again.

Tim Slade (#3 CoolDrive Mustang) was fastest after the first flyers with a 1:06.6255s before Pye (#20 DeWalt ZB Commodore) drove to a 1:06.6107s on his second flyer.

De Pasquale had a lively start to the session, with an off at Turn 5 before he went to the top on a 1:06.4459s despite dropping a wheel into the weeds and cranking the #11 Mustang sideways exiting Turn 1 on the lap in question.

Mark Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore) was next to spend time at the head of the timing screen when he clocked a 1:06.4268s, then Whincup (#88 ZB Commodore) set a 1:06.2144s even though he kicked up the dirt exiting the final corner.

De Pasquale was fastest again when he laid down a 1:06.0358s in the 17th minute, while Pye improved to second position with a subsequent 1:06.1085s.

The latter went faster still on his next run when he set a 1:06.0096s in the 29th minute, but Whincup fired in a 1:05.8799s just before the chequers.

“There’s a big challenge for engineers,” said Whincup of the super soft tyre.

“You have got to have qualifying pace because qualifying is obviously really important but then you need to make sure you get a bit of a gauge of how long the tyre is going to last.

“We can take a guess, we’ll use that information from the race run to fire into the Excel spreadsheet and see how long we think we can go in the race before we have got to change.”

De Pasquale remained third while Practice 1 fast man Nick Percat (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore) improved to fourth on a 1:06.0621s after the flag.

Will Davison (#17 Shell V-Power Mustang) ended up fifth on a 1:06.1235s and Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore) sixth on a 1:06.1325s.

Shane van Gisbergen had been shuffled towards the bottom of the timing screen until he laid down a 1:06.1456s in the 27th minute which would see the #97 Red Bull Ampol ZB Commodore end up seventh.

Winterbottom finished up eight on a 1:06.1658s, making him the last driver to go under Percat’s Practice 1 pace-setter, with the top 10 rounded out by James Courtney (#44 Boost Mobile Mustang) and Brodie Kostecki (#99 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore).

Tickford Racing’s lead driver, Cameron Waters, finished 22nd in the #6 Monster Energy Mustang, his personal best 1:06.6655s leaving him 0.7856s off the top.

Qualifying for Race 12 of the 2021 Supercars Championship, a knockout session culminating in a Top 10 Shootout, gets underway from 11:35 local time/12:05 AEST.

Results: Practice 2

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 1:05.8799  
2 20 DEWALT Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.0096 0:00.1297
3 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 1:06.0358 0:00.1559
4 8 R&J Batteries Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.0621 0:00.1822
5 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 1:06.1235 0:00.2436
6 25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online Chaz Mostert Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.1325 0:00.2526
7 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Team Shane van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.1456 0:00.2657
8 18 IRWIN Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.1658 0:00.2859
9 44 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 1:06.1973 0:00.3174
10 99 Erebus Boost Mobile Racing Brodie Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.2754 0:00.3955
11 35 Yellow Cover Racing Zane Goddard Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.3238 0:00.4439
12 19 Local Legends Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.3401 0:00.4602
13 3 CoolDrive Racing Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 1:06.3458 0:00.4659
14 14 Pizza Hut Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.3705 0:00.4906
15 5 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Ford Mustang GT 1:06.4313 0:00.5514
16 34 UNIT Racing Jake Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.4767 0:00.5968
17 9 Erebus Motorsport William Brown Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.4875 0:00.6076
18 2 Mobil 1 Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.5149 0:00.6350
19 7 NED Whisky Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Mustang GT 1:06.5250 0:00.6451
20 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 1:06.5345 0:00.6546
21 96 Coca-Cola Racing Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.6583 0:00.7784
22 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 1:06.6655 0:00.7856
23 55 Castrol Racing Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 1:06.6693 0:00.7894
24 22 Team SYDNEY Garry Jacobson Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.7857 0:00.9058
25 4 SCT Logistics Jack Smith Holden Commodore ZB 1:06.8668 0:00.9869
26 27 Walkinshaw Andretti United Kurt Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1:07.0803 0:01.2004

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