Scott McLaughlin is hopeful of getting his Championship back on track this weekend at the Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint, and has started in the best possible fashion, topping practice two.
The first car into the ‘29s’ when setting his fast lap, the young Kiwi topped fellow countryman Shane van Gisbergen by 0.0417sec at the end of the hour-long session.
McLaughlin sits sixth in the Championship, 285 points behind Jamie Whincup in the points, but has had good success at SMSP in previous years, earning a thrilling win in 2014 over Nick Percat.
Mark Winterbottom had a wild moment navigating turn one during the session, as he pushes to improve at a circuit that hasn’t be too kind to him in recent years. The defending champion came home third after a late fast lap in the session.
Milestone man Craig Lowndes finished eighth and was shocked by the condition of the circuit this year.
“The degradation has been massive from last year to this year,” he said.
“Being a soft tyre weekend we’re going to have to be very careful how long we go on this tyre and how long we use it.”
The session was red flagged early for about seven minutes after Rick Kelly suffered a stuck throttle and was stranded at turn three.
Nick Percat stopped at turn seven once the chequered flags were out.
Lee Holdsworth competed another four laps at the start of the session to leave him 10th when jumping out of the car and handing over to Karl Reindler, who contests the round as the primary driver as Holdsworth continues to recover from his Darwin injuries.