Record-breaking pace for Mostert in practice, SVG and McLaughlin in top 3
Former Bathurst 1000 champion Chaz Mostert has continued his form from the last round of the Supercars Championship to end up with the fastest time in the last practice session for the series before tomorrow's qualifying and racing at the WD-40 Phillip Island 500.
Mostert spent most of the session towards the pointy end of the grid, but only set his fatal time in the final moments. All three New Zealanders on the grid starred towards the front. Shane van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin ended the test in second and third.
Coulthard led the session early, ahead of Scott Pye, Jamie Whincup, and Shane van Gisbergen. Coulthard's teammate McLaughlin dethroned him with 27 minutes left in the session, and then improved on his own best marker straight away with a second bite; setting a 1:30.7657.
Elsewhere, tyre issues that had caused issues in the first session for both Coulthard and Craig Lowndes appeared to continue. This time it was van Gisbergen caught out with a right-front puncture, though he was able to return to pit lane without prompting a caution.
McLaughlin's time gave him almost a half-second margin over Coulthard and the rest of the leaders. And the time stood at the top until 10 minutes to go, when a recovering van Gisbergen took the top slot with a 1:30.4374.
A pair of Falcons, Coulthard and Chaz Mostert, bumped van Gisbergen back down to third. Coulthard's session-leading 1:30.3006 represented a practice record. Soon session-one winner David Reynolds also leaped ahead of van Gisbergen, putting him fourth. The joker in the pack was Lee Holdsworth, who fired in a rapid time to jump to second, pushing van Gisbergen to fifth.
However, the Red Bull pilot wasn't finished, and with less than two minutes to go he set a fast 1:29.58173. It looked like the Kiwi would end the session, but an incredibly quick time in the dying seconds from Mostert popped the Supercheap Auto Falcon to the top 1:29.5747 — giving him almost a three-tenth lead.
Michael Caruso and Cameron Waters rounded out the top five when the dust settled, thanks to top times late in proceedings. Mark Winterbottom, Coulthard, Holdsworth, Jamie Whincup, and Reynolds rounded out the top 10.
Photo: Prodrive Racing