Bathurst 1000: Caruso tops final pre-qualifying practice

Michael Caruso was fastest in a fifth consecutive weather-affected practice at the Bathurst 1000, the final hit-out before qualifying this afternoon.

Bathurst 1000: Caruso tops final pre-qualifying practice

After the first hint of dry running in this morning's co-driver practice session, the rain returned for the start of the final all-in pre-qualifying session.

That meant very limited running, times left stranded back in the mid-2m29s as only half the field ventured out in the first half an hour.

It was all about the Tickford Fords during that early rain, Chaz Mostert, Richie Stanaway and Cam Waters occupying the top three while Mark Winterbottom was not far behind in fifth in his repaired Falcon.

Conditions did show signs of improving slightly inside the final quarter of the session, Mostert and Stanaway improving into the 2m26s with around 10 minutes to go.

With six minutes to go Nick Percat got in on the act, pipping Stanaway by 0.1s with a 2m26.582s. But just when that looked like it would be the benchmark, Caruso put in a blinder of a final lap to go top with a 2m26.270.

Percat did look to respond right at the flag, but despite a purple first sector ended up 0.06s short of the Nissan driver.

He was then relegated to third right at the flag, Rick Kelly making it a Nissan one-two with a time just 0.01s shy of Caruso's effort.

“We all sort of guessed yesterday that the wet weather would be done by now, so I just thought what have we got to lose?” Caruso said.

“We’re here, we’ve got tyres, we’ve got petrol, let’s get out there and go around just in case it is wet in quali.

“It was a good little hit-out. We’ve had our fair share of dramas, we’ve already had an engine change, but it’s obviously running well now."

Stanaway dropped back to fourth with those late improvements, followed by teammate Mostert and another Nissan driver in Andre Heimgartner.

The next on-track session is qualifying at 3:50pm this afternoon.

Cla # Driver Car Time Gap
1 23 Australia Michael Caruso
Australia Dean Fiore
Nissan Altima 2'26.2070  
2 11 Australia Rick Kelly
Garry Jacobson
Nissan Altima 2'26.2236 0.0166
3 8 Australia Nick Percat
Australia Macauley Jones
Holden Commodore ZB 2'26.2708 0.0638
4 56 New Zealand Richie Stanaway
Australia Steven Owen
Ford Falcon FG X 2'26.7148 0.5078
5 55 Australia Chaz Mostert
Australia James Moffat
Ford Falcon FG X 2'26.9914 0.7844
6 7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner
Australia Aaren Russell
Nissan Altima 2'27.4470 1.2400
7 9 Australia David Reynolds
Australia Luke Youlden
Holden Commodore ZB 2'28.0907 1.8837
8 17 France Alexandre Prémat
New Zealand Scott McLaughlin
Ford Falcon FG X 2'28.7250 2.5180
9 12 Australia Tony D'Alberto
New Zealand Fabian Coulthard
Ford Falcon FG X 2'28.7984 2.5914
10 6 Australia David Russell
Australia Cameron Waters
Ford Falcon FG X 2'29.3805 3.1735
11 33 Australia Garth Tander
New Zealand Chris Pither
Holden Commodore ZB 2'30.4181 4.2111
12 35 Australia Bryce Fullwood
Australia Todd Hazelwood
Ford Falcon FG X 2'30.5324 4.3254
13 18 Australia Lee Holdsworth
Australia Jason Bright
Holden Commodore ZB 2'31.0337 4.8267
14 78 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro
Australia Alex Rullo
Nissan Altima 2'31.0575 4.8505
15 5 Australia Mark Winterbottom
Australia Dean Canto
Ford Falcon FG X 2'32.4468 6.2398
16 19 Australia Jonathon Webb
Australia Jack Le Brocq
Holden Commodore ZB 2'33.2194 7.0124
17 99 Australia Will Brown
Anton de
Holden Commodore ZB 2'34.4019 8.1949
18 888 New Zealand Steven Richards
Australia Craig Lowndes
Holden Commodore ZB 2'34.5427 8.3357
19 34 Australia James Golding
Richard Muscat
Holden Commodore ZB 2'34.7116 8.5046
20 230 Australia Alex Davison
Australia Will Davison
Ford Falcon FG X 2'36.5893 10.3823
  1 Australia Jamie Whincup
Paul Dumbrell
Holden Commodore ZB    
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