Phillip Island V8s: Courtney fastest in final practice

James Courtney set the pace in a final 15-minute practice session at Phillip Island.

The Holden Racing Team driver had sat outside the Top 10 after the first runs, but hit back on his second run to charge to the top of the times with a 1m31.010s – good enough to leave him P1 at the end.

“It’s always hard to do test and development, because our test days are so limited. We have to do it over race weekends,” said Courtney, who is well and truly out of title contention.

“Today is all about not really worrying about the position, but trying to get a better direction and a better feel.”

DJR Team Penske’s Scott Pye was second fastest, like Courtney having improved on his second run, while David Reynolds was the best of the title contenders in third.

The Prodrive Racing driver was third after the first runs as well, before being shuffled down the order as guys went quicker on fresher rubber on the second. But he managed to find three-tenths on his final lap to go from seventh back to the top three.

Craig Lowndes was next, having not improved on his first run, ahead of Scott McLaughlin.

Points leader Mark Winterbottom also failed to improve on his first run and finished the session sixth, although afterwards said he was relaxed given that he hadn’t run new tyres.

“It feels okay. The track is cool, the wind has dropped, so I think everyone would say they feel okay,” he said.

“There were some guys on new tyres, we weren’t, so hopefully that will show in qualifying – it might level it out a bit more.

“It feels like we’ve made gains, but with gains come losses so you have to try and marry the two and try and go forward.”

Brothers Todd and Rick Kelly were eighth and ninth, with Jamie Whincup rounding out the Top 10.

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About this article
Series Supercars
Event Phillip Island
Track Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit
Drivers James Courtney
Article type Practice report