PROVISIONAL POLE AT BATHURST!Ben Nightingale
BATHURST 1000 – FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11 – PRACTICE & QUALIFYING
Fabian Coulthard & Tony D’Alberto – No. 12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 4 – 4th (Fastest Lap: 2m05.2539s – Tony D’Alberto)
Practice 5 – 5th (Fastest Lap: 2m04.2325s)
Qualifying – 16th (Fastest Lap: 2m30.2983s – Wet Track)
Scott McLaughlin & Alex Prémat – No. 17 Shell V-Power Racing Ford
Practice 4 – 9th (Fastest Lap: 2m05.6626s – Alex Prémat)
Practice 5 – 1st (Fastest Lap: 2m03.4813s – New Lap Record)
Qualifying – 1st (Fastest Lap: 2m27.6476s – Wet Track)
RECAP: Mount Panorama threw everything it had at Supercars teams and drivers today, with record breaking track conditions this morning before a storm front rolled through to provide a wet track for qualifying.
The day opened with a co-driver only session in Practice 4, with Alex Prémat and Tony D’Alberto on track in the Shell V-Power Mustangs. Both co-drivers did an excellent job, working on race-pace before handing the cars back to Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard for Practice 5.
Both cars were fast in the cold, dry conditions with McLaughlin lowering his lap record even further to a 2m03.4813s to be a half-second clear of the field.
Temperatures plummeted and rain began to fall around the circuit in the hour before qualifying, with the full 40-minute session run in wet conditions.
McLaughlin was again fast in the trying conditions, sitting at the top of the time sheets for the majority of the forty-minutes. Conditions dried out a little late in the session, and timing became key with Coulthard losing out on best track conditions to be pushed out of the Top 10.
McLaughlin took provisional pole, and will start last in tomorrow afternoon’s Top 10 Shootout that will decide the final places on the grid.
COULTHARD QUOTE: “Those were some tough weather conditions out there in qualifying, which makes a challenging track even harder. We didn’t get our timing quite right at the end of the session, so a few cars behind us got a drier track, so were able to jump us. A shame not to make the shootout, but history shows you can win this race from anywhere on the grid. We know the car is good, Tony is doing a great job so now we will focus on having a strong race on Sunday.”
MCLAUGHLIN QUOTE: “I was so nervous before that qualifying session because we had such a good car and this is probably going to be the only wet session that we have, I’m really proud. We’ve been struggling with our wet car, but we had an awesome car from the start. That was hands-down the best wet car I’ve ever had. Thanks so much to the team for giving me the tools to get the job done. We start last in the shootout tomorrow, hopefully it’s dry so we can have a proper crack at it.”
D’ALBERTO QUOTE: “It’s a shame we didn’t make the Shootout, but those were challenging conditions. We know we have a good race car and will be able to have a crack on Sunday. I’ve been enjoying driving the car, it feels good and I’m really looking forward to the big one.”
PRÉMAT QUOTE: “I was glad I was in the garage watching Scott drive in those conditions, rather than out there dealing with it! Scott has just been on another level this weekend, and it seems it doesn’t matter if it is wet or dry, he is fast. The car is good, I am feeling pretty comfortable and I think we are in a good place, for sure. I’m looking forward to final practice tomorrow, and watching Scott put down another lap in the Top 10 Shootout.”