Gold Coast 600: Van Gisbergen edges McLaughlin in final practice

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Gold Coast 600: Van Gisbergen edges McLaughlin in final practice
Andrew van Leeuwen
By: Andrew van Leeuwen
Oct 19, 2018, 7:55 AM

Shane van Gisbergen won an intriguing battle of the title contenders in the final practice session for the Gold Coast 600.

Kiwis van Gisbergen and McLaughlin staged a thrilling shootout at the end of the 30-minute session, van Gisbergen ultimately coming out on top with a 1m10.076s from his qualifying simulation run.

Fabian Coulthard, Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes capped off a DJR Team Penske/Triple Eight top five lockout.

For the third time today Whincup was the early pacesetter, firing into the 10s with a 1m10.919s on his very first run.

That time came within the six-minute window before Will Davison was fired into the Turn 2 wall thanks to a loose wheel, his wrecked 23Red Ford resulting in the first and only red flag.

“I went into the first apex there and I heard a big knock, I didn’t really clip the tyre bundle or anything, but as I turned right I lost all steering,” he said.

“I just went straight ahead in. It happened all pretty quick.

“I was perplexed because I knew I hadn’t bounced off the tyre bundle or hit the wheel on anything, so it was the last thing I was expecting.

“It looks like it’s pulled a stud out on the upright and it’s stood the wheel up and lost all steering on the front.

“I’m shattered for the team. We need to analyse why it happened, it’s just a lot of damage that we don’t need right now.”

There was more drama shortly after the restart, Richie Stanaway clipping the wall on the exit of Turn 2 after slipping on water that had been projected out of the tyre barrier by Davison's car.

In Stanaway's case, however, it was the rear that tagged the concrete, meaning he could crawl back to the pits and the track stayed green.

At around the same time Whincup improved on his earlier benchmark, a 1m10.742s leaving him narrowly ahead of David Reynolds.

Just after the midway point of the session Scott McLaughlin made his move, edging clear of Whincup with a 1m10.669s.

Whincup hit back with 10 minutes to go, reclaiming top spot with a 1m10.635s. McLaughlin had the answer, though, with a 1m10.585s on his next run.

With five minutes to van Gisbergen got in on the act, the Kiwi's 1m10.351s leaving him momentarily clear of the field.

The title contenders then switched to green tyres for qualifying simulations right at the flag, McLaughlin going quickest with a 1m10.221s before van Gisbergen secured top spot once and for all with a 1m10.076s.

“When the sun goes down here the track gets so much faster, so I feel like that’s one of the fastest times you’ll see all weekend,” he said.

“I probably under-drove to be on the safe side, just to get a lap on the board, but the car is near-perfect, probably just a few little tweaks.”

Behind the two dominant teams, Lee Holdsworth was a surprise 'Class B' pacesetter in the Team 18 Holden.

He was followed by Nissan's Rick Kelly, while Chaz Mostert led the charge for the Tickford Fords.

Reynolds slipped back to ninth as the session wore on, with Cam Waters rounding out the Top 10.

Results:

Cla # Driver Car Time Gap
1 97 New Zealand Earl Bamber 
New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen 
Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.0763  
2 17 France Alexandre Prémat 
New Zealand Scott McLaughlin 
Ford Falcon FG X 1'10.2218 0.1455
3 12 Australia Tony D'Alberto 
New Zealand Fabian Coulthard 
Ford Falcon FG X 1'10.4199 0.3436
4 1 Australia Jamie Whincup 
Paul Dumbrell 
Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.4788 0.4025
5 888 New Zealand Steven Richards 
Australia Craig Lowndes 
Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.6396 0.5633
6 18 Australia Lee Holdsworth 
Australia Jason Bright 
Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.6936 0.6173
7 11 Australia Rick Kelly 
Garry Jacobson 
Nissan Altima 1'10.7342 0.6579
8 55 Australia Chaz Mostert 
Australia James Moffat 
Ford Falcon FG X 1'10.7615 0.6852
9 9 Australia David Reynolds 
Australia Luke Youlden 
Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.8028 0.7265
10 6 Australia David Russell 
Australia Cameron Waters 
Ford Falcon FG X 1'10.8425 0.7662
11 2 Australia Warren Luff 
Australia Scott Pye 
Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.8887 0.8124
12 23 Australia Michael Caruso 
Australia Dean Fiore 
Nissan Altima 1'10.9352 0.8589
13 25 Australia James Courtney 
Jack Perkins 
Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.9537 0.8774
14 7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner 
Australia Aaren Russell 
Nissan Altima 1'10.9645 0.8882
15 5 Australia Mark Winterbottom 
Australia Dean Canto 
Ford Falcon FG X 1'10.9870 0.9107
16 14 Australia Tim Slade 
Australia Ash Walsh 
Holden Commodore ZB 1'11.0493 0.9730
17 8 Australia Nick Percat 
Australia Macauley Jones 
Holden Commodore ZB 1'11.1655 1.0892
18 99 Australia Will Brown 
Anton de 
Holden Commodore ZB 1'11.2461 1.1698
19 78 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro 
Australia Alex Rullo 
Nissan Altima 1'11.2939 1.2176
20 19 Australia Jonathon Webb 
Australia Jack Le Brocq 
Holden Commodore ZB 1'11.3945 1.3182
21 33 Australia Garth Tander 
New Zealand Chris Pither 
Holden Commodore ZB 1'11.6117 1.5354
22 34 Australia James Golding 
Richard Muscat 
Holden Commodore ZB 1'11.6147 1.5384
23 21 Australia Dale Wood 
Australia Tim Blanchard 
Holden Commodore ZB 1'11.6626 1.5863
24 230 Australia Alex Davison 
Australia Will Davison 
Ford Falcon FG X 1'11.7949 1.7186
25 56 New Zealand Richie Stanaway 
Australia Steven Owen 
Ford Falcon FG X 1'11.9584 1.8821
26 35 Australia Bryce Fullwood 
Australia Todd Hazelwood 
Ford Falcon FG X 1'12.4162 2.3399
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About this article

Series Supercars
Event Surfers Paradise
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
Article type Practice report