Waters leads Whincup in Pukekohe Practice 2

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 03/11/2017
  • By Mitchell Adam

Cameron Waters beat Virgin Australia Supercars Championship leader Jamie Whincup to the top spot in second practice for the ITM Auckland SuperSprint at Pukekohe.

Waters emerged on top by just over one tenth, while Whincup’s title rivals Scott McLaughlin, Chaz Mostert and Shane van Gisbergen filled fourth through to sixth and Fabian Coulthard was 14th.

Rain fell between Friday’s two sessions, but drivers were greeted with a dry circuit for the 40 minutes of running.

While times were well off McLaughlin’s 1:02.7153 best in the morning, Brad Jones Racing occupied the top two places at the halfway mark with Tim Slade with a 1:03.3762s and Nick Percat.

McLaughlin jumped up the order after a quiet start with a 1:03.0614s with 12 minutes remaining, before Cameron Waters set the first sub-1:03s lap of the session, five later.

Having set his 1:02.9577s on green rear tyres with scrubbed fronts, Waters was 0.1037 seconds ahead of McLaughlin with five minutes to go, as the field turned to new sets of tyres.

Mostert and the McLaughlin lowered the benchmark again to 1:02.7362s, before both spent the closing minutes in their respective garages.

Waters turned the 1:02.5623s that ultimately led the way inside the final 60 seconds, with Whincup also jumping up the order to finish 0.1414s adrift and Mark Winterbottom making it a pair of Prodrive Falcons in the top three.

“We weren’t too phased after Practice 1, where we had a few problems,” said Waters, who had been just 24th in the first session.

“We tuned it up and the car is mint now, I’m pretty happy with that. It puts us in good stead for tomorrow and I think there’s a little bit more in it.”

McLaughlin, Mostert and van Gisbergen were all within three tenths of Waters, while Slade, Bathurst winner David Reynolds, Craig Lowndes and Lee Holdsworth completed the top 10.

“It’s a bit of a Ford whitewash at the top, so it’s good to represent the mighty lion,” quipped Whincup.

“The #88 is pretty good. The surface changes have completely changed the dynamic of the circuit but I think we’re there or thereabouts.

“My car is at its worst through Turn 1… that’s the big area we’re going to look at tonight.”

Rick Kelly was the top Nissan in 12th, two spots ahead of Coulthard, who vaulted up the order from the foot of the times in the final minute.

Both Garry Rogers Motorsport Commodores had minor off-track excursions, with Garth Tander 16th and James Moffat 19th.

Will Davison spun his Tekno Autosports Commodore at Turn 8 six minutes in, and wound up 21st.

Aaren Russell clocked the 25th-fastest time, forced to sit out the first five minutes of running as a penalty for crossing the control line twice after the end of Practice 1.

Russell’s Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport team-mate Jack Perkins finished at the base, and with the left-rear wheel of his Commodore adrift.

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