Bathurst 1000: McLaughlin breaks record in practice as Whincup crashes

Scott McLaughlin made it two record-breaking Bathurst laps in two days at Bathurst, in a Practice 5 session that included a crash for Jamie Whincup.

Richie Stanaway crashed out at The Esses with 15 minutes of the 60 left on the clock and moments later Whincup’s car became collateral damage.

Swerving to miss the #33 Commodore, Whincup collected the wall on the left-hand side entering The Dipper.

The next car in the queue, Mark Winterbottom, narrowly avoided becoming part of the carnage.

The subsequent red flags caused a lengthy delay, with six minutes of the session lost – and there would be more lost time to come.

The damage provides a major hurdle for both Stanaway and Whincup – the latter ran down pitlane to urgently report back to his crew – with ARMOR ALL Qualifying beginning at 4pm.

“I saw Richie go in as I came over Skyline,” Whincup explained.

“If you look at it on TV it all looks pretty flat there, but it’s massively downhill.

“I just tried to scrub off as much speed as I possibly could while going around him. Going around means you’re in the marbles as well.

“It hit the wall – not massive, I’ve had a lot worse – smashed the front-left corner.”

Elaborating on the damage he observed after hopping out of the car, Whincup said: “Rear has got the camber knocked off it, but hopefully it’s not transaxle or anything like that.

“I’m pretty confident we’ll be out for qualifying.

“I tried to give the boys as much info as I could so we can start preparing.

“It’s broken a front-upright, front wishbones, trailing arm.

“There’s no fluid anywhere so radiator looks intact.

“The front splitter is smashed across and it just looks like a rear trailing arm at the back as well.”

Before the drama, McLaughlin narrowly missed besting his 2:03.7728 from Thursday afternoon at the midway point of Practice 5.

He then did raise the bar 10 minutes later with a remarkable 2:03.4813 to set a new benchmark for the fastest Supercars lap around Bathurst.

“It was a full-on lap and then you get told on the radio the team wants you to go a bit faster in the first sector. It’s like ‘come on boys, give me something!’,” he said.

Asked if he was at “ten tenths” commitment, McLaughlin added: “Probably nine. You’ve got to have some sort of feel in case it is dry for qualifying.

“I’m not sure if it’s going to be wet as well. I’m within my limit, I am being safe, but I’m hanging on to a point where a 3.4, it’s pretty fast across the top for anyone.

“It’s cool to be there, but I think there’s more in it yet.”

David Reynolds had been on track for a lap to challenge the #17 Shell V-Power Racing Mustang, 0.09s shy at the second sector, until the session was stopped.

Andre Heimgartner the only driver other than McLaughlin to post a sub-2:04 time.

Cameron Waters, Reynolds and Fabian Coulthard completed the top five as the session ended early when IndyCar wildcard Alexander Rossi found the Hell Corner sand trap with four minutes remaining.

Rossi had moments earlier set a 2:06.3885 personal best, to place 25th ahead of Tekno Autosports’ Jack Le Brocq.

The American was Hell Corner’s second victim after Simona De Silvestro beached her Nissan early in the session; she returned to be 21st on the leaderboard.

Bathurst 1000: McLaughlin breaks record in practice as Whincup crashes

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