McLaughlin fastest in rain-hit final practice
- By Stefan Bartholomaeus
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
Shell V-Power Racing's Scott McLaughlin recorded the fastest time in a frantic end to a rain-hit final practice at Symmons Plains.
A heavy downpour immediately prior to the session saw a 10-minute delay before the drivers were let loose for their final run before qualifying.
Once the session did get underway, it took just five minutes before the red flags were required as Michael Caruso speared his Nissan into the turn four gravel trap.
The timesheets changed frequently as the track gradually improved, eventually proving dry enough for slicks with just over 10 of the 45 minutes remaining.
McLaughlin ended up with the fastest wet time of 56.05s before setting his eventual slick-shod best of 51.63s after the chequered flag.
The Shell V-Power Ford then coasted back to pitlane after running out of fuel.
McLaughlin denied Friday pace-setter Shane van Gisbergen the top spot by 0.17s, while Will Davison, Fabian Coulthard, Cameron Waters and Chaz Mostert completed the top six.
David Reynolds, James Moffat, James Courtney and Jamie Whincup filled seventh through 10th.
Craig Lowndes ended up at the foot of the order but remains optimistic of his chances for qualifying.
“We made a last-minute change which was a positive one but we couldn’t do a lap," he explained.
“Although the timesheets show one thing we’re really happy with the car in both the wet and dry.”
More showers are predicted to hit the venue during the afternoon, which will see qualifying at 1:50pm and the 120km Race 3 of the championship from 4:45pm.
CLICK HERE for the full Practice 3 result.