Kiwis have set the three fastest times in the curtain-raising practice session to today’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, Andre Heimgartner leading Scott McLaughlin and Shane van Gisbergen.
The final practice run was an odd one, underlined by interruption and curious errors — most teams electing to not take on the timesheets.
It kicked off with a near-immediate red flag for the stationary car of Dean Fiore (co-driver to Scott Pye), with reports of low oil pressure and the team motioning to perform a full engine change. Nobody had been able to set a time prior to the red, triggering an impromptu wave of driver-change practices in pit-lane.
With the clock not stopping during the red flag, it left just under 10 minutes to go of practice from the original 20. After the first wave of completed laps, Andre Heimgartner led on a 2:06.778. The Kiwi pressed on, landing a 2:05.314 the next time by with three minutes to go.
Apart from Fiore’s woes, there were also issues for the Boost Ford Mustang of James Courtney and Broc Feeney. With the latter at the wheel, the team had apparent issues with both left-side wheels. Bizarrely, Tickford only tended to the left-front wheel in the subsequent pit-stop, sending Feeney back on track with an apparently loose wheel.
Heimgartner’s time stood (the team installing co-driver Dylan O’Keefe for a quick lap at the end), with most teams electing to just use the session as a systems check. McLaughlin had the second-quickest time, with van Gisbergen improving late on a 2:05.855 to be third by the end.
Chaz Mostert, the shared efforts of Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup, David Reynolds, Lee Holdsworth, Todd Hazelwood and Jordan Boys, pole-sitter Cameron Waters, and the Supercheap Auto Mustang of Jack Le Brocq James Moffat completed the top 10.