The Prodrive Racing Falcons have had a lash on new rubber in this morning’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 practice, with Chaz Mostert topping Mark Winterbottom in the dying minutes of the one-hour session.
The Supercheap Auto Racing Ford Falcon FG X driver set a best time of 2min05.3352 only minutes after his co-driver Steve Owen had nearly clattered into the concrete at The Dipper.
Winterbottom set a best time of 2:05.6383 in The Bottle-O Falcon, taking the chance for one last hot lap before this afternoon’s ARMOR ALL Top 10 Shootout after he and co-driver Dean Canto spent most of the session working on race set-up in preparation for tomorrow’s 161 lap classic.
“We did a simulation for the shootout, it was okay but it’s moving around in the rear a bit,” the defending Virgin Australia Supercars champion said.
“You get one lap, you tighten the belts and try and have a go. I think we’re half a chance this afternoon if we can tidy it up at the bottom and the last corner, I’m losing about three tenths.
“We’ve gotten the strengths better but we need to get the weaknesses better because it’s killing me. We’ll have a crack.”
Scott McLaughlin was third fastest in the Wilson Security GRM Volvo S60, while Shane van Gisbergen was fourth fastest and first of the Triple Eight Holden Commodore VFs in fourth place.
His Red Bull teammate Jamie Whincup was only 12th fastest, the provisional pole qualifier choosing not to have a qualifying simulation run.
Will Davison (Tekno), Cameron Waters (Prodrive), Jason Bright and Tim Slade (Brad Jones Racing), Garth Tander (HRT) and Lee Holdsworth (Team 18) completed the top 10.
James Courtney (HRT) was 14th fastest and Craig Lowndes 16th fastest in the session.
The DJR Team Penske Falcons were outside the top 10, with Roger Penske landing this morning to attend his first ever Bathurst 1000.
Harvey Norman Supergirl Simona de Silvestro fought back from yesterday’s exclusion from qualifying to set a 2:08.2816, more than 0.4 sec faster than her previous best time in the Nissan Altima she is sharing with Renee Gracie.
The practice session finished only minutes before rain arrived at Mount Panorama. The supercars are not on track again until late this afternoon for the shootout.