Six-time Supercars champion Jamie Whincup has set the new fastest time in a Supercar around Pukekohe Park Raceway.
Whincup’s teammate Shane van Gisbergen nabbed a record in practice two, but the #88 racer hit back with a 1min02.1183, a whopping three-tenths quicker than his rival’s time in the day’s final run at the ITM Auckland SuperSprint.
Qualifying is critical with this weekend’s 100km sprint format – and in the final session other challengers tested the Red Bulls, with DJR Team Penske’s Fabian Coulthard and Mark Winterbottom splitting Whincup and Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen.
James Courtney also cracked the top five, with teammate Garth Tander (in eighth) explaining the HRT was trying new things with the Commodore.
“I think the front of the car is the same (as Courtney’s), the rear a bit different,” Tander said.
“They want to do a bit of testing for next year so they’ve gone a different way with James’s car.”
Will Davison’s throttle sensor issue was fixed between sessions leaving him sixth, with David Reynolds again showing form in seventh.
“It wasn’t a bad day,” the Erebus driver said.
“I probably didn’t get the most out of my tyres and had some moments through 2-3-4 with the stuff on the ground.”
Loose dirt was scattering over the circuit at turns two and three, making it unpredictable for drivers approaching that section of the track.
“It sucks, it’s a lot different every lap so it’s hard to tell. As a driver you tackle it 110 per cent every time and if you come unstuck, you come unstuck,” Reynolds said.
It wasn’t a clean session with the red flag out with eight minutes to go with debris on the circuit. There were big moments for Todd Kelly and Chaz Mostert, the Supercheap Auto Falcon suffering damage with less than five minutes remaining in the practice session.