Wood tops final Bathurst co-driver session as Whincup hits wall

The #8 ZB Commodore

Dale Wood has set the pace in Practice 5 for the Repco Bathurst 1000, a session for co-drivers in which Jamie Whincup hit the barriers at Griffins Bend.

Whincup’s was one of four notable incidents in the hour-long session at a wet Mount Panorama and while he was able to drive the #88 Red Bull Ampol ZB Commodore back to the pits after scraping the tyre belt, it spent the latter 45 minutes in the garaga.

Wood had just gone quickest in Andre Heimgartner’s #8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore when Michael Caruso locked up and beached Mark Winterbottom’s #18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore at The Chase in the final five minutes, bringing about an early end to proceedings.

Wood’s 2:26.2222s saw him finish the session 0.0649s clear of Fabian Coulthard, who is partnering 2021 race winner Chaz Mostert in Walkinshaw Andretti United’s #25 Mobil 1 Optus ZB Commodore.


Jordan Boys made it Brad Jones Racing entries first and third thanks to his 2:26.2932s in the #96 Wet & Forget ZB Commodore which had been repaired after Macauley Jones’ run-in with Shane van Gisbergen in Qualifying.

Declan Fraser claimed fourth in the wildcard #888 Supercheap Auto ZB Commodore and Matt Campbell fifth in David Reynolds’ #26 Penrite Mustang, with the #88 entry of Broc Feeney/Whincup ending up 10th after the four-time Bathurst 1000 winner’s session had begun so well before turning sour.

Aaron Seton had an even bigger accident, going in at The Esses in Jack Le Brocq’s #34 Truck Assist ZB Commodore midway through.

The Mount Panorama circuit was wet with light rain falling at the session start, and Whincup immediately put a gap between himself and the rest.

He set a 2:28.7597s on his first lap, 2.9030s up on the field, and a 2:27.2669s which was still at least 2.3920s quicker than anyone else.

A red flag was called in the 10th minute when Kurt Kostecki got himself stuck in the tyre barriers at Griffins Bend, but he was able to drive back to the pits once the #56 Tradie Mustang was dragged out.

Ironically, Whincup was next to slide into the barriers, at that very corner, and while he did not get stuck, he had to bring a scarred #88 ZB Commodore back to the pits for the Triple Eight Race Engineering crew to check for possible steering damage.

Jamie Whincup in the tyre barrier at Griffins Bend. Picture: Fox Sports

Garth Tander (#97 Red Bull Ampol ZB Commodore), Tony D’Alberto (#100 Shell V-Power Mustang), Coulthard, and James Moffat all had brief spells in second place but Wood was first to get within a second of Whincup’s time when he clocked a 2:28.0804s in the 18th minute.

Moffat (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) then reclaimed second on a 2:27.8978s, then Coulthard did so on a 2:27.4806s, before Campbell went quickest of all on a 2:27.1686s.

Seton crashed hard into the tyre wall at The Esses in the 26th minute when he took too much of the wet ripple strip, bringing about another red flag.

With the extra 10 minutes exhausted during that stoppage, just over 26 minutes remained when the session went green again, and Campbell soon raised the bar further to a 2:26.8593s while Fraser took up second with a 2:27.1390s.

Campbell set a 2:26.5159s next time around but Fraser managed to beat that moments later with a 2:26.3918s in the Supercheap Auto-backed Triple Eight entry which he is sharing with Craig Lowndes.

Coulthard climbed from sixth to first with a 2:26.2901s as the session moved into its final quarter of an hour, with Fraser improving to a 2:26.3384s but Boys splitting them on a 2:26.2932s.

Coulthard crept to a 2:26.2871s as Zane Goddard (#5 Snowy River Caravans Mustang) had an off at The Chase, but was able to drive out.

Wood had just gone 2:26.222s when Caruso too went off at The Chase, but he was not able to escape the gravel.

Behind the top five of Wood, Coulthard, Boys, Fraser, and Campbell ended up Warren Luff (#2 Mobil 1 NTI ZB Commodore), Moffat in the provisional pole-sitting car of Cameron Waters, Dylan O’Keeffe (#31 Subway ZB Commodore), Goddard, and Whincup, with Alex Davison (#17 Shell V-Power Mustang) 12th on a 2:27.4724s, Tander 15th on a 2:27.6544s, and D’Alberto 18th on a 2:27.9264s.

The sixth and final practice session, for all drivers, kicks off today at 13:00 local time/AEDT.

Results: Practice 5 Co-drivers

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 8 R&J Batteries Racing Dale Wood Holden Commodore ZB 2:26.2222
2 25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore ZB 2:26.2871 0:00.0649
3 96 Kubota Jordan Boys Holden Commodore ZB 2:26.2932 0:00.0710
4 888 Supercheap Auto Racing Declan Fraser Holden Commodore ZB 2:26.3384 0:00.1162
5 26 Penrite Racing Matt Campbell Ford Mustang GT 2:26.5159 0:00.2937
6 2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing Warren Luff Holden Commodore ZB 2:26.7362 0:00.5140
7 6 Monster Energy Racing James Moffat Ford Mustang GT 2:26.9895 0:00.7673
8 31 Subway PremiAir Racing Dylan O’Keeffe Holden Commodore ZB 2:27.1381 0:00.9159
9 5 Snowy River Racing Zane Goddard Ford Mustang GT 2:27.1641 0:00.9419
10 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 2:27.2669 0:01.0447
11 99 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus David Russell Holden Commodore ZB 2:27.4674 0:01.2452
12 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Alex Davison Ford Mustang GT 2:27.4724 0:01.2502
13 35 Truck Assist Racing Jayden Ojeda Holden Commodore ZB 2:27.5829 0:01.3607
14 9 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus Jack Perkins Holden Commodore ZB 2:27.6057 0:01.3835
15 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Garth Tander Holden Commodore ZB 2:27.6544 0:01.4322
16 3 CoolDrive Auto Parts Tim Blanchard Ford Mustang GT 2:27.7573 0:01.5351
17 56 Tradie Racing Kurt Kostecki Ford Mustang GT 2:27.8824 0:01.6602
18 100 Shell V-Power Racing Team Tony D’Alberto Ford Mustang GT 2:27.9264 0:01.7042
19 18 IRWIN Racing Michael Caruso Holden Commodore ZB 2:27.9285 0:01.7063
20 34 Truck Assist Racing Aaron Seton Holden Commodore ZB 2:28.2869 0:02.0647
21 51 Boost Mobile Racing 51 Greg Murphy Holden Commodore ZB 2:28.3380 0:02.1158
22 4 SCT Racing Jaxon Evans Holden Commodore ZB 2:28.6251 0:02.4029
23 118 Caltex Young Stars Jaylyn Robotham Holden Commodore ZB 2:28.7183 0:02.4961
24 22 PremiAir Coca Cola Racing Cameron Hill Holden Commodore ZB 2:28.8028 0:02.5806
25 20 Alspec Racing Tyler Everingham Holden Commodore ZB 2:29.0278 0:02.8056
26 14 Middy’s Electrical Racing Dean Fiore Holden Commodore ZB 2:29.1197 0:02.8975
27 10 Penrite Racing Matthew Payne Ford Mustang GT 2:29.1659 0:02.9437
28 55 Castrol Racing Zak Best Ford Mustang GT 2:32.2926 0:06.0704

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