Bathurst 1000 Highlights: Supercars Friday practice and qualifying live updates, blog

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    With one day of practice in the books, another two sessions await the Supercars field before we go qualifying on the mountain. Join The Roar for live updates and coverage of all three Supercars sessions, as well as the Dunlop Super2 Series practice and qualifying from 8:45am (AEDT).

    With three sessions of practice at the mountain already completed, David Reynolds and Scott McLaughlin look to be in fantastic form, while Triple Eight will be hoping for a much better day as the back half of the grid is set.

    When it comes to qualifying, McLaughlin has been in fine form this year. While he didn’t top the charts in any session yesterday, he was looking close in the third before David Reynolds went past him. McLaughlin has 13 pole positions to his name though, and already showing plenty of pace, he will be a heavy favourite.

    Reynolds himself finished eighth in the first session, before co-driver Luke Youlden finished fourth in session two. The Erebus driver then came through to record the best time of the day 2.05.0931, just two-tenths of a second shy of the lap record.

    While Jamie Whincup is sitting second in the championship, it was a tough day for him and teammate Shane Van Gisbergen, both struggling for pace before Van Gisbergen put his car into the wall at the esses.

    Van Gisbergen wasn’t the first driver to hit the wall at the top of the mountain, with Tim Slade and Richard Muscat both doing so in the first two sessions.

    Even though Whincup punched a top ten finish in each of his sessions, he was down on pace and Paul Dumbrell running through in 17th during the co-drivers session was far from ideal.

    Session three is the one to look at, and the DJR Team Penske drivers are on fire. Alongside McLaughlin, Fabian Coulthard has had good pace all year and finished third in that session.

    Veterans Garth Tander, Craig Lowndes and Todd Kelly, who have struggled this year also displayed good pace at times yesterday and it would be hardly a surprise for one or all of them to sneak into the top ten.

    Chaz Mostert is the other driver who performed well yesterday, particularly early in the day when he won the opening session and co-driver Steve Owen finished second in the next. The pair are experienced and will be a threat on race day after rotten luck for the last few years.

    The Dunlop Super2 Series will also be an opportunity to get another look at many of the co-drivers. Watch out in particular for Paul Dumbrell, Macauley Jones, Todd Hazlewood, Jack Le Brocq and Jack Perkins as they set the grid for their 250-kilometre showdown on Saturday.

    Prediction
    Qualifying is what we are really interested in here, and it’s very difficult to go past Scott McLaughlin to take pole. He should come in ahead of his teammate Coulthard, Mostert and Whincup.

    Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of Friday practice and qualifying from 8:45am (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.

    One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 1,100 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.