Van Gisbergen leads Courtney in fast-paced Practice 2

Shane van Gisbergen topped Practice 2 at the Beaurepaires Melbourne 400. Picture: Ross Gibb

It’s one apiece between the Shell V-Power Racing Team and Red Bull Ampol Racing after Shane van Gisbergen topped Practice 2 at the Beaurepaires Melbourne 400.

After Anton De Pasquale’s (#11 Shell V-Power Racing Team) record-breaking efforts in Practice 1, that momentum continued into the second outing with the best lap another 1.7s faster than the morning’s previous best.

Van Gisbergen and James Courtney (#500 Flex Power Tools) were the sole operators to drop into the 1:44 bracket in the 30-minute session around the Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit.

Despite the quick turnaround between sessions, Broc Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol Racing) rolled out onto the track two minutes into the session.

All told, he would clock 11 laps in Practice 2 and end up a lacklustre last – 3.2815s off the pace of his chart-topping team-mate.

In what was an incident-free session, Brodie Kostecki (#99 Boost Mobile Racing) was the first of those to explore the track limits at Turn 1 as he toured the grass run-off on his first flying lap.

De Pasquale set the pace initially on a 1:46.7376s, although team-mate Davison (#17 Shell V-Power Racing Team) eclipsed that by a tenth on a 1:46.6360s, immediately bettering the best effort by the #11 driver in Practice 1.

Surprise packet Scott Pye (#20 Hino Racing) moved the marker again, setting a 1:46.5550s to clear Davison by 0.0810s with his first flier.

Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Racing) was the best of those initially on the hard compound tyre, although he was nearly eight tenths adrift of the best effort.

Macauley Jones (#96 Racing) continued his Practice 1 form, his first effort putting him fourth and only 0.2s away from fellow Commodore pilot Pye.

Todd Hazelwood (#35 Truck Assist Racing) locked up under brakes at Turn 9 in the early going, skating through the grass as a result.

While most of the field lay idle in pit lane at the 10-minute mark, Courtney pressed on and duly dropped into the 1:45s bracket with a 1:45.9373s to clear Pye by six tenths.

Courtney’s team-mate Waters, shod with the soft compound tyres, went fastest to Sector 1, only to lock up at the penultimate corner. Despite that, he rose to third from 13th.

With the session at halfway, it was Courtney who led Davison, Pye, Waters, De Pasquale, van Gisbergen, Mark Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Racing), Brodie Kostecki, and Nick Percat (#2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing).

Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing), who up until halfway had flown under the radar down in 22nd, surged to the top on a 1:45.7048s, putting him 0.2325s clear of Courtney.

The 2010 Supercars champion duly responded, a 1:45.6084s just moments before the 20-minute mark putting him back on top.

Even with a loose moment out of the final corner, David Reynolds (#26 Penrite Racing) climbed to third on a 1:45.7593s.

The 2017 Bathurst 1000 winner was fastest through the third sector, despite the dirt drop.

With two minutes remaining, Thomas Randle (#55 Castrol Racing) set the fastest time to Sector 1. He would continue on, climbing from 23rd to first on a 1:45.5611s.

However, Mostert would eclipse that on a 1:45.1843s before van Gisbergen left his best for last, banking his best lap fo the day, a 1:44.8387s.

Having briefly dropped down the order, Courtney came within a whisker of van Gisbergen, his 1:44.9239s – the only other lap under a 1:45s – putting him 0.0852s in arrears of the Kiwi.

In the end, it was van Gisbergen who led proceedings from Courtney, and Mostert.

De Pasquale was the best of those on a hard compound tyre in fourth from Davison, Randle, Pye, Percat, Jake Kostecki (#56 Tradie Racing), and Reynolds.

The first of two qualifying sessions to determine the grid for Race 6 gets underway this afternoon from 15:00 AEST.

Results: Practice 2, Beaurepaires Melbourne 400

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Time Diff
1 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Shane van Gisbergen Holden ZB Commodore 1:44.8387
2 500 Flex Power Tools James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 1:44.9239 +0.0852
3 25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing Chaz Mostert Holden ZB Commodore 1:45.1843 +0.3456
4 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 1:45.2732 +0.4345
5 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 1:45.4476 +0.6089
6 55 Castrol Racing Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 1:45.5611 +0.7224
7 20 Hino Racing Scott Pye Holden ZB Commodore 1:45.5723 +0.7336
8 2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing Nick Percat Holden ZB Commodore 1:45.6601 +0.8214
9 56 Tradie Racing Jake Kostecki Ford Mustang GT 1:45.7306 +0.8919
10 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 1:45.7593 +0.9206
11 14 Middy’s Electrical Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden ZB Commodore 1:45.9730 +1.1343
12 10 Penrite Racing Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 1:46.1718 +1.3331
13 3 CoolDrive Racing Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 1:46.4229 +1.5842
14 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 1:46.5675 +1.7288
15 99 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus Brodie Kostecki Holden ZB Commodore 1:46.5771 +1.7384
16 8 R&J Batteries Racing Andre Heimgartner Holden ZB Commodore 1:46.5977 +1.7590
17 22 PremiAir Coca-Cola Racing Chris Pither Holden ZB Commodore 1:46.6146 +1.7759
18 76 PremiAir Subway Racing Garry Jacobson Holden ZB Commodore 1:46.7441 +1.9054
19 96 Macauley Jones Holden ZB Commodore 1:46.7647 +1.9260
20 18 Irwin Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden ZB Commodore 1:46.8149 +1.9762
21 35 Truck Assist Racing Todd Hazelwood Holden ZB Commodore 1:46.8203 +1.9816
22 9 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus Will Brown Holden ZB Commodore 1:47.0429 +2.2042
23 34 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Holden ZB Commodore 1:47.0863 +2.2476
24 4 SCT Logistics Racing Jack Smith Holden ZB Commodore 1:47.5198 +2.6811
25 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Broc Feeney Holden ZB Commodore 1:48.1202 +3.2815

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