Phillip Island Supercars: McLaughlin fastest despite traffic woes
Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin led the way in Practice 3 at Phillip Island despite a tussle with James Golding that ruined his final run.
The DJR Team Penske driver spent the majority of the session on top with a comfortable margin, a 1m30.186s set on the five-minute mark leaving him over three-tenths clear of the likes of Jamie Whincup and Chaz Mostert.
There was little in the way of meaningful improvement in the middle part of the session, which for the third time this weekend was briefly interrupted by wild geese that wandered onto the circuit.
With three minutes to go McLaughlin looked set to try and lower his benchmark, however he was baulked by a slow-moving James Golding at the apex of Turn 1.
That opened the door for teammate Fabian Coulthard to have a crack at top spot, the Friday pacesetter falling 0.04s short of McLaughlin's time.
James Courtney also threatened McLaughlin's time with a purple first sector, but ultimately couldn't even best the 1m30.417s he'd set a lap earlier.
And that left the reigning champ on top, despite effectively missing out on his final run due to that Golding run-in.
“It was a bit of a balls-up. It’s not the nicest thing going down the front straight and cars weaving going into one of the fastest corners in Australia,” said McLaughlin.
“It was pretty wild. I actually thought he saw me there so I was going to keep going, then he kept coming across and I was like ‘oh crap’.
“At least it’s only practice, but Jimmy is a smart guy, I’m sure he won’t do it again."
Golding admitted after the session that he'd simply failed to spot McLaughlin coming.
“I was just warming my tyres up out of the pits and didn’t see Scotty coming up behind me,” he said. “I obviously wouldn’t be doing that sort of thing on purpose, lucky it wasn’t qualifying otherwise I’d be getting a penalty."
Courtney ended up best of the rest behind the Penske Mustangs, the Walkinshaw Holden driver followed by Cam Waters, Whincup and Mostert, the latter two not improving on their earlier times.
Todd Hazelwood was seventh fastest, Lee Holdsworth eighth, and Andre Heimgartner and Scott Pye rounding out the Top 10.
|1||17||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Mustang GT||1'30.1861|
|2||12||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Mustang GT||1'30.2304||0.0443|
|3||22||James Courtney||Holden Commodore ZB||1'30.4177||0.2316|
|4||6||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||1'30.4907||0.3046|
|5||88||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||1'30.5027||0.3166|
|6||55||Chaz Mostert||Ford Mustang GT||1'30.5605||0.3744|
|7||35||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1'30.5610||0.3749|
|8||5||Lee Holdsworth||Ford Mustang GT||1'30.7593||0.5732|
|9||7||Andre Heimgartner||Nissan Altima L33||1'30.7711||0.5850|
|10||200||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||1'30.9274||0.7413|
|11||9||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||1'30.9939||0.8078|
|12||15||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima L33||1'31.0991||0.9130|
|13||97||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||1'31.1468||0.9607|
|14||18||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB||1'31.2502||1.0641|
|15||99||Anton De Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||1'31.2872||1.1011|
|16||3||Garry Jacobson||Nissan Altima L33||1'31.3018||1.1157|
|17||14||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore ZB||1'31.3836||1.1975|
|18||21||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||1'31.4554||1.2693|
|19||8||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||1'31.5832||1.3971|
|20||23||Will Davison||Ford Mustang GT||1'31.5988||1.4127|
|21||34||James Golding||Holden Commodore ZB||1'31.6841||1.4980|
|22||78||Simona de Silvestro||Nissan Altima L33||1'31.6926||1.5065|
|23||33||Richie Stanaway||Holden Commodore ZB||1'31.8125||1.6264|
|24||19||Jack Le Brocq||Holden Commodore ZB||1'32.0771||1.8910|
Phillip Island Supercars: Coulthard fastest, Whincup misses Q2
Phillip Island Supercars: McLaughlin beats Coulthard to pole