Newcastle Supercars: McLaughlin finishes Friday on top

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Newcastle Supercars: McLaughlin finishes Friday on top
Andrew van Leeuwen
By: Andrew van Leeuwen
Nov 23, 2018, 5:07 AM

Scott McLaughlin ended Friday's Supercars running in Newcastle as the man to beat, topping the second and final practice session by less than a tenth.

McLaughlin's title rival Shane van Gisbergen wasted little time early in the session, diving below the 1m11s bracket on his first run with a 1m10.883s.

He was joined in the 1m10s by teammate Jamie Whincup shortly afterwards, the outgoing champion banking a 1m10.650s, before McLaughlin went comfortably fastest with a 1m10.475s.

Cam Waters joined the lead bunch with a little over 10 minutes to go, slotting in between McLaughlin and Whincup with a 1m10.647s.

There were dramas on the other side of the Tickford garage at the same time, however, with Richie Stanaway's Falcon requiring a lengthy repair after the Kiwi side-swiped the wall.

With a little over two minutes to go a number of contenders rolled out on new rubber, hinting at a qualifying sim shootout to finish off the session.

However it was surprisingly subdued, Whincup the only driver to make a meaningful improvement on his final run as he jumped Waters to go second, 0.08s slower than McLaughlin's earlier benchmark.

That left McLaughlin on top, despite running wide on his qualifying sim lap.

“I felt like on my green tyre lap, before I went wide at Turn 2, out of Turn 1 I was fast, I was up on what I’d been all day," he said.

“I’m not sure if the track went away in other areas, but overall we’ve had a really good day and everything feels alright.

“The time that we did with the 10.4s, we found a combination that we really liked, then we went away and tried a few other things and came back.

“Even though there was lots of springs and dampers, everything was pretty good and we tried everything that we wanted to.

“It’s going to be all about qualifying here, the race is going to be a long race but track position is key and that’s what we’re working on.”

McLaughlin's teammate Fabian Coulthard was fourth quickest, ahead of late improvers James Courtney and Nick Percat.

Van Gisbergen slipped back to seventh after making a minuscule gain on his final run, followed by David Reynolds, Scott Pye, and Anton De Pasquale.

The title showdown continues tomorrow with qualifying for Race 1 at 11:35am local time.

Second practice results:

Cla # Driver Car Time Gap
1 17 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin  Ford Falcon FG X 1'10.4756  
2 1 Australia Jamie Whincup  Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.5626 0.0870
3 6 Australia Cameron Waters  Ford Falcon FG X 1'10.6473 0.1717
4 12 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard  Ford Falcon FG X 1'10.7861 0.3105
5 25 Australia James Courtney  Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.8220 0.3464
6 8 Australia Nick Percat  Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.8332 0.3576
7 97 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen  Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.8342 0.3586
8 9 Australia David Reynolds  Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.8478 0.3722
9 2 Australia Scott Pye  Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.8506 0.3750
10 99 Australia Anton De Pasquale  Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.8570 0.3814
11 18 Australia Lee Holdsworth  Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.8899 0.4143
12 888 Australia Craig Lowndes  Holden Commodore ZB 1'10.8929 0.4173
13 55 Australia Chaz Mostert  Ford Falcon FG X 1'10.9099 0.4343
14 7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner  Nissan Altima 1'10.9944 0.5188
15 5 Australia Mark Winterbottom  Ford Falcon FG X 1'11.0011 0.5255
16 78 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro  Nissan Altima 1'11.0815 0.6059
17 14 Australia Tim Slade  Holden Commodore ZB 1'11.0951 0.6195
18 23 Australia Michael Caruso  Nissan Altima 1'11.1056 0.6300
19 33 Australia Garth Tander  Holden Commodore ZB 1'11.1316 0.6560
20 15 Australia Rick Kelly  Nissan Altima 1'11.1489 0.6733
21 21 Australia Tim Blanchard  Holden Commodore ZB 1'11.1767 0.7011
22 230 Australia Will Davison  Ford Falcon FG X 1'11.2167 0.7411
23 19 Australia Jack Le Brocq  Holden Commodore ZB 1'11.3493 0.8737
24 56 New Zealand Richie Stanaway  Ford Falcon FG X 1'11.3786 0.9030
25 34 Australia James Golding  Holden Commodore ZB 1'11.4255 0.9499
26 35 Australia Todd Hazelwood  Ford Falcon FG X 1'11.4627 0.9871
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About this article

Series Supercars
Event Newcastle
Drivers Scott McLaughlin
Author Andrew van Leeuwen