Newcastle Supercars: McLaughlin blitzes second practice

Scott McLaughlin will take a half-second margin into qualifying in Newcastle tomorrow after blitzing the field in today's second and final practice session.

Newcastle Supercars: McLaughlin blitzes second practice
Fabian Coulthard, Team Penske Ford
Practice action
Mark Winterbottom, Prodrive Racing
Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Ford
Practice action
Practice action

It was all about the Red Bulls in the first 10 minutes of the session, Jamie Whincup setting the early pace before Shane van Gisbergen took over at the top with a 1m10.598s.

On the 12-minute mark McLaughlin enjoyed his first stint at the top, a 1m10.507s coming just a lap after the Penske driver misjudged Turn 2 and ended down the escape road.

It was a short-lived stint though, Whincup responding immediately with a 1m10.446s.

Times tumbled down to the low 1m10s as the session headed towards the halfway mark, Nick Percat leading the way with a 1m10.301s before being replace by Scott Pye's 1m10.1047s to go under Whincup's Practice 1 benchmark for the first time.

Right after the 20-minute mark McLaughlin took another step forward, breaking into the 1m09s with a two-lap stint that left him top with a 1m09.841s.

He wound up being the only driver to go under 1m10s. Whincup went closest with a 1m10.029s late in the session, but nobody could get close to McLaughlin – particularly when he improved to a 1m09.594s right at the death.

That left him 0.4s clear of title rival Whincup.

"Look, it's Friday... I wish it was Saturday!" said McLaughlin.

"The car is really nice. It wasn't bad in the first practice, but it wasn't anywhere like it is now."

Todd Kelly, celebrating his final start as a full time Supercars driver this weekend, ended up third quickest with a 1m10.083s, edging out Scott Pye, who carried over his promising form from Practice 1.

Fabian Coulthard was fifth fastest ahead of Tim Slade and David Reynolds, while Garth Tander, Percat, and James Courtney rounded out the Top 10.

It was a tough session for Prodrive, Cam Waters the best performer down in 13th.

That was one spot clear of Shane van Gisbergen, who complained that something may be broken in his Triple Eight Commodore after struggling for pace.

ClaDriverCarTimeGap
1 17 new_zealand  Scott McLaughlin  Ford Falcon FG-X 1'09.5949  
2 88 australia  Jamie Whincup  Holden Commodore VF 1'10.0294 0.4345
3 7 australia  Todd Kelly  Nissan Altima 1'10.0835 0.4886
4 2 australia  Scott Pye  Holden Commodore VF 1'10.1047 0.5098
5 12 new_zealand  Fabian Coulthard  Ford Falcon FG/X 1'10.1297 0.5348
6 14 australia  Tim Slade  Holden Commodore VF 1'10.1772 0.5823
7 9 australia  David Reynolds  Holden Commodore VF 1'10.2870 0.6921
8 33 australia  Garth Tander  Holden Commodore VF 1'10.2886 0.6937
9 8 australia  Nick Percat  Holden Commodore VF 1'10.3011 0.7062
10 22 australia  James Courtney  Holden Commodore VF 1'10.3073 0.7124
11 15 australia  Rick Kelly  Nissan Altima 1'10.3365 0.7416
12 23 australia  Michael Caruso  Nissan Altima 1'10.3681 0.7732
13 6 australia  Cameron Waters  Ford Falcon FG-X 1'10.3700 0.7751
14 97 new_zealand  Shane van Gisbergen  Holden Commodore VF 1'10.4238 0.8289
15 18 australia  Lee Holdsworth  Holden Commodore VF 1'10.4532 0.8583
16 5 australia  Mark Winterbottom  Ford Falcon FG-X 1'10.5000 0.9051
17 888 australia  Craig Lowndes  Holden Commodore VF 1'10.6527 1.0578
18 34 australia  James Moffat  Holden Commodore VF 1'10.7324 1.1375
19 55 australia  Chaz Mostert  Ford Falcon FG-X 1'10.7748 1.1799
20 78 switzerland  Simona de Silvestro  Nissan Altima 1'10.7918 1.1969
21 19 australia  Will Davison  Holden Commodore VF 1'10.7972 1.2023
22 21 australia  Tim Blanchard  Holden Commodore VF 1'10.8276 1.2327
23 56 australia  Jason Bright  Ford Falcon FG-X 1'10.9670 1.3721
24 3 australia  Aaren Russell  Holden Commodore VF 1'11.0648 1.4699
25 99 australia  Dale Wood  Holden Commodore VF 1'11.2685 1.6736
26 62 australia  Taz Douglas  Holden Commodore VF 1'11.3783 1.7834
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