Fabian Coulthard pipped Shell V-Power team-mate Scott McLaughlin as Ford Mustangs filled the top three places in the second WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint practice.
Coulthard logged a 1:30.1807s on the final runs of the 30 minutes to shade McLaughlin by a mere 0.0060 seconds.
Cameron Waters made it an all-Mustang top three, from the Nissan of Rick Kelly, while the Red Bull Holdens of Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup were 10th and 11th.
That means Whincup will have to navigate the first phase of knockout ARMOR ALL Qualifying on Saturday, which the fastest 10 in this session bypass.
“It’s good that we’ve got two fast cars, that’s the main thing, it’s hard to know really where you’re at when the Triple Eight Holdens are not there.We’ll go through everything tonight and see if we can make it better. This is one of those tracks where if you find a little bit you find a lot. I’m not 100 percent happy, I don’t think you ever are. You can make it better.”
Chaz Mostert, Nick Percat and David Reynolds spent time at the top before McLaughlin grabbed first nearing the halfway mark. Whincup moved to the top with six-and-a-half minutes left.
The Shell Fords then struck on the final runs, McLaughlin and Coulthard turning the two quickest laps of the session in front of Waters who was joined in the top ten by Tickford teammates Will Davison and Lee Holdsworth in fifth and sixth and Chaz Mostert in ninth.
Rick Kelly was third in Practice 1 and backed that up with fourth in the afternoon session. The Castrol Nissan in fourth prevented a sweep of the top five by the Mustangs.
Practice 1 pacesetter Anton De Pasquale and Todd Hazelwood were seventh and eighth, while Mostert and van Gisbergen rounded out the top 10.
Van Gisbergen leapt up from 21st at the death to demote Whincup to 11th by one one-hundredth of a second.
“Disappointed. We wanted to be in the 10, we pushed pretty hard, I’m only a hundredth behind my team-mate, so that sucks, he just knocked me out at the end there. That’s the way it goes, we’ll keep fighting on. We’ve got Todd Hazelwood up there in my car from last year.Those guys are doing a better job than we are at the moment so we’ll have to pull our finger out.”
McLaughlin heads into tomorrow’s opening race of the weekend holding a 124-point lead over Coulthard in the driver’s Championship, Whincup is third 160 points back and van Gisbergen is fourth.
Practice 3 starts at 10:40am on Saturday, before ARMOR ALL Qualifying from 1:15pm and the day’s 27-lap race at 3:50pm.
SUPERCARS ON TRACK TIMES THIS WEEKEND (ALL LOCAL TIME):
- 10:40am – 11:10am – Practice 3
- 1:15pm – 1:55pm – ARMOR ALL Qualifying (in three parts)
- 3:50pm – Race 9 – 120kms WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint
- 9:20am – 9:50am – Practice 4
- 11:15am – 11:50am – ARMOR ALL Qualifying (in three parts)
- 2:15pm – Race 10 – 200kms WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint
Every practice, qualifying and race session of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship is broadcast live in high definition on Fox Sports 506 and Kayo within Australia.
On free to air television within Australia, Network Ten will have race highlights on TEN BOLD from 10:30pm – 11:30pm and 11:30pm – 12:30am on TEN Saturday and 4:00pm – 5:00pm on TEN and 8:30pm – 9:30pm on TEN BOLD on Sunday.
Supercars Trackside featuring all the latest news and views from the Supercars Paddock will air on Sunday from 3:30pm – 4:30pm on Fox Sports 506 HD.
Words and images courtesy of www.supercars.com