Whincup breaks into the ‘fours’ as records tumble at Bathurst

Jamie Whincup will go in to qualifying for the Bathurst 1000 as the new practice lap record holder, after becoming the first man to do a lap under 2m05s.

Whincup breaks into the ‘fours’ as records tumble at Bathurst
Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Scott Pye and Marcos Ambrose, Team Penske Ford
Scott Pye and Marcos Ambrose, Team Penske Ford
Michael Caruso and Dean Fiore, Nissan Motorsports
Michael Caruso and Dean Fiore, Nissan Motorsports
Will Davison and Alex Davison, Erebus Motorsport Mercedes

With qualifying simulations inevitable in today’s second practice, much attention was placed on whether anyone could break into the 2m04s – particularly after Fabian Coulthard lowered the records to a 2m05.4s yesterday.

Penske’s Scott Pye was the first to have a proper crack on good tyres, going fastest seven minutes from the end of the session with a stunning 2m05.243s effort – which at that point was a new record – as well as breaking the magical 300km/h barrier down Conrod Straight.

But in the end it was Whincup who stole the headlines, his final lap an outrageous 2m04.909s, which is the first lap ever under 2m05s in a V8 Supercar.

“We’re just going about our job trying to make the buggy as quick as possible,” said Whincup.

“We won’t get too carried away with practice, but obviously it’s a cool number. No doubt there will be a big improvement for quali, so we’ll keep chipping away.”

Pye’s time was good enough to leave him second at the end of the session, despite a number of improvements at the flag.

One of the late improvers was Jason Bright, who dipped in to the fives with a 2m05.537s late in the session, which left him third, just ahead of Mark Winterbottom.

Fabian Coulthard, who started the day as the lap record holder, was fifth fastest at the flag, ahead of fellow kiwi Shane van Gisbergen, and Prodrive’s David Reynolds.

It was a promising session for Nissan, with Michael Caruso becoming the first man to do a five in a Nissan V8 Supercar to go ninth fastest, while Todd Kelly was right behind him in 10th.

Scott McLaughlin was best of the Volvos in 11th, while Will Davison had by far his most encouraging session of the weekend, going 12th fastest in the #9 Erebus car.

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