Jamie Whincup topped the final Friday practice session on the Gold Coast with a lap record-breaking 1m09.917s.
The 30-minute session boiled down to a six-minute sprint right at the death, following a late red flag called after James Moffat hit the Turn 11 wall.
To that point Fabian Coulthard had been quickest with a 1m10.533s – but that time didn’t last long when the session went green.
It was Reynolds who went fastest first with a 1m10.330s, before Whincup blasted his way to the top with a 1m09.917s. It was the first time ever under the 1m10s mark, lowering Reynolds’ existing unofficial lap record of 1m10.048s.
“The car is good,” said the Triple Eight driver.
“It feels comfortable to drive, and we pushed hard there on good tyres and extracted the most out of it. I like this place, so it’s good to go quick.”
Chaz Mostert wound up second quickest, making up 11 spots on his final run with a 1m10.103s. Reynolds dropped back to third, ahead of Scott McLaughlin, who also improved on his final run.
Shane van Gisbergen did likewise to go fifth quickest, while Coulthard dropped back to sixth with that time he set right before Moffat went into the wall.
Mark Winterbottom was seventh quickest, ahead of teammate Cam Waters and Nissan driver Todd Kelly.
Craig Lowndes rounded out the Top 10.
For Moffat, his crash was a continuation of a poor run of luck. His Bathurst charge ended in a pair of crashes a little under a fortnight ago, the second of which was bad enough to require a chassis switch for the Gold Coast.
The replacement chassis, usually co-driver Richard Muscat’s Super2 car, will now need to be fixed as well after ending up in the tyre wall on the outside of Turn 11.
“I was probably pushing too hard and made a mistake,” said Moffat. “Silly. I don’t know how the car will be. It got the tyres, which hopeful will mean it’s not too bad. But it was quite a head-on impact. I shouldn’t be doing stuff like that, it’s just dumb.”
|1||88|| Jamie Whincup
|Holden Commodore VF||1'09.9179|
|2||55|| Steven Owen
|Ford Falcon FG-X||1'10.1037||0.1858|
|3||9|| David Reynolds
|Holden Commodore VF||1'10.3301||0.4122|
|4||17|| Alexandre Prémat
|Ford Falcon FG-X||1'10.3536||0.4357|
|5||97|| Shane van Gisbergen
|Holden Commodore VF||1'10.3588||0.4409|
|Ford Falcon FG/X||1'10.5337||0.6158|
|7||5|| Mark Winterbottom
|Ford Falcon FG-X||1'10.5554||0.6375|
|8||6|| Richie Stanaway
|Ford Falcon FG-X||1'10.5676||0.6497|
|9||7|| Todd Kelly
Jack Le Brocq
|10||888|| Steven Richards
|Holden Commodore VF||1'10.6817||0.7638|
|11||22|| James Courtney
|Holden Commodore VF||1'10.6836||0.7657|
|12||8|| Nick Percat
|Holden Commodore VF||1'10.7624||0.8445|
|13||2|| Warren Luff
|Holden Commodore VF||1'10.7708||0.8529|
|14||14|| Tim Slade
|Holden Commodore VF||1'10.7817||0.8638|
|Holden Commodore VF||1'10.9151||0.9972|
|16||23|| Michael Caruso
|17||18|| Lee Holdsworth
|Holden Commodore VF||1'10.9650||1.0471|
|18||15|| Rick Kelly
|19||34|| James Moffat
|Holden Commodore VF||1'11.1074||1.1895|
|20||33|| Garth Tander
|Holden Commodore VF||1'11.2205||1.3026|
|21||3|| Aaren Russell
|Holden Commodore VF||1'11.4495||1.5316|
|22||56|| Jason Bright
|Ford Falcon FG-X||1'11.4860||1.5681|
|23||99|| Dale Wood
|Holden Commodore VF||1'11.5324||1.6145|
|24||21|| Tim Blanchard
|Holden Commodore VF||1'11.6767||1.7588|
|25||78|| Simona de Silvestro
|26||62|| Alex Davison
|Holden Commodore VF||1'12.5076||2.5897|