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Supercars will let fly with their first laps in anger on Friday afternoon when the field go qualifying at Mount Panorama ahead of the Bathurst 1000. Join The Roar for live updates, times and rolling coverage from 4pm (AEDT).
Scott McLaughlin, who is the championship leader by miles and has been well ahead of the pack throughout the season in his flying Ford Mustang, has been the best by a considerable distance already this season.
In the sessions which matter between the main game drivers, he was strong in Practice 1, then found his pace to beat the lap record in Practice 3 yesterday afternoon, setting a 2.03.77.
He backed that up this morning in Practice 5 with a ridiculous 2.03.48, and as a result, goes into qualifying as the red-hot favourite to drive the final lap in tomorrow’s shootout.
Jamie Whincup has also started to show some impressive pace. It’s been a frustrating season for the Red Bull Holden Racing Team, and if Whincup is to have a chance at the championship, he needs a huge weekend, so taking out Practice 1 and finishing second in Practice 3 is a positive sign.
Interestingly though, Whincup’s teammate out of the Holden garage, Shane Van Gisbergen, has been off the pace with finishes in fifth, sixth and eighth thus far this weekend.
David Reynolds, after a big crash yesterday, will be the unknown quantity in this session, although his fourth place in practice this morning should put minds at ease.
The usual suspects, namely Fabian Coulthard, Cameron Waters, Chaz Mostert and surprisingly, Anton de Pasquale, have all been there and abouts this weekend as well, so will have good aspirations for this afternoon’s run around the mountain.
Others in the top ten of the championship, Nick Percat, Will Davison and Lee Holdsworth have all struggled for pace so far this weekend, while those in Nissans Rick Kelly, Andre Heimgartner, Simona De Silvestro and Garry Jacobson, haven’t been consistent, but are all capable of causing a surprise to the suspected order of affairs.
Hard to see McLaughlin not getting the best time and setting himself up for the final hot lap of tomorrow’s session. I’ll take Waters in second and Whincup to round out the top three.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of qualifying for the Bathurst 1000 from 4pm (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Start time: 4pm (AEDT)
Session length: 40 minutes
Track: Mount Panorma, Bathurst
Track length: 6.213km
TV: Live, Fox Sports 506, Channel Ten
Online: Live, Kayo Sports, Foxtel App, Foxtel Now
2. Scott Pye/Warren Luff (Mobil 1 Racing)
3. Garry Jacobson/Dean Canto (Kelly Racing)
5. Lee Holdsworth/Thomas Randle (The Bottle-O Racing Team)
6. Cameron Waters/Michael Caruso (Monster Energy Racing)
7. Andre Heimgartner/Bryce Fullwood (Plus Fitness Racing)
8. Nick Percat/Tim Blanchard (Brad Jones Racing)
9. David Reynolds/Luke Youlden (Penrite Racing)
12. Fabian Coulthard/Tony D’Alberto (Shell V-Power Racing)
14. Tim Slade/Ash Walsh (Machinerhouse Racing)
15. Rick Kelly/Dale Wood (Castrol Racing)
17. Scott McLaughlin/Alex Premat (Shell V-Power Racing)
18. Mark Winterbottom/Steve Richards (Irwin Racing)
19. Jack Le Brocq/Jonathon Webb (Tekno Racing)
21. Macauley Jones/Dean Canto (Team CoolDrive)
22. James Courtney/Jack Perkins (Mobil 1 Racing)
23. Will Davison/Alex Davison (Milwaukee Racing)
27. Alexander Rossi/James Hinchcliffe (Walkinshaw Andretti United)
33. Richie Stanaway/Chris Pither (Boost Mobile Racing)
34. James Golding/Richard Muscat (Boost Mobile Racing)
35. Todd Hazlewood/Jack Smith (Bigmate Racing)
55. Chaz Mostert/James Moffat (Supercheap Auto Racing)
56. Brodie Kostecki/Jack Kostecki (Kostecki Brothers Racing)
78. Simona De Silvestro/Alex Rullo (Team Harvey Norman)
97. Shane Van Gisbergen/Garth Tander (Red Bull Holden Racing Team)
99. Anton de Pasquale/Will Brown (Penrite Racing)
888. Jamie Whincup/Craig Lowndes (Red Bull Holden Racing Team)