Dunlop V8 Supercar series winner Scott McLaughlin had already been lurking inside the Top10 throughout today’s opening practice sessions at the Clipsal 500.
This afternoon he stopped lurking and switched to all-out attack in Adelaide as he took his #33 Fujitsu Racing Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden to the top spot in today’s third or four 30-minute practice sessions.
It has been a strong day for the Victorian-based Holden team with McLaughlin’s teammate, second-year driver Alex Premat, well established inside the Top 10 as well – the Frenchman having topped the session mid-way through its 30-minutes.
Whilst it was a Holden on top for the third time today, Ford fans will take hope from the dramatically improved performance from their factory representatives – Will Davison and Mark Winterbottom second and third in their Pepsi Max-sponsored Falcons.
Both were within 0.1s of McLaughlin’s impressive 1m21.5726s lap.
Russell Ingall, James Courtney completed the Top five – Ingall completing his third session inside the top five today.
Behind the Walkinshaw pair was Jonathon Webb, the second Fujitsu Racing entry of French driver Alex Premat and Tekno Autosport’s Shane van Gisbergen.
Impressive South Australian rookie Scott Pye was 9th for Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, Practice two pace setter Jamie Whincup 10th.
The pace of the Nissan Altima’s is gradually improving – Rick Kelly finishing the session 11th in his Jack Daniel’s Racing machine.
Lee Holdsworth was again the best of the Erebus Racing AMG entries, in 24th position, though all three cars continue to reliably log laps on the demanding 3.22km circuit after a very short pre-season of preparation.
There was also improvement from German driver Maro Engel, who dropped into the 1m23s for the first time to be within half a second of his well-established teammates.
Just one final session remaining prior to the all-important 20-minute qualifying session (set for 15:05pm local time) this afternoon.