Gold Coast 600: Overflowing drain interrupts final practice

An overflowing storm water drain left a number of drivers scrambling to stay out of the wall during final Friday practice for the Gold Coast 600.

Gold Coast 600: Overflowing drain interrupts final practice

The drain overflowed a third of the way through the 30-minute session, soaking the road at the Turn 1 chicane. 

The water was difficult to spot in the evening light, the first three drivers to come across the puddle – Garry Jacobson, Jamie Whincup and James Courtney – pitched into spectacular slides by the unexpected lack of grip.

The session was quickly red-flagged so the drain could be fixed and the standing water swept away.

“I couldn’t work out what happened,” said Courtney.

“I couldn’t really see the water because of the glare at that point and it just barked up and went sideways. I grabbed a handful of wheel and hung on.”

Whincup added: “Crazy stuff, I think someone’s emptied the bath and it’s ended up on the track.

“I came around and all of a sudden the track is wet and we’re all out of control.

“It was only last week we were in the fence from something unlucky, it almost happened again.”

 

The appropriately-named Cam Waters ended up topping the day's final practice session, the Tickford driver sneaking under the 1m10s mark with a 1m09.954s.

That left him 0.09s clear of Triple Eight pair Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup.

“We weren’t running the best tyre through the session, then we put a good tyre on and I think it’s more in me, just trusting the car’s going to do his job,” said Waters.

“There’s a little bit more in it, but the car’s pretty comfortable to drive. [Michael Caruso] was pretty comfortable in his session, so we’re thereabouts.

“You’ve got to be on the limit here to be fast. I think every run I had the mirror pushed in and asked the boys to push it back out.

“We might have to put a little spring on that to push it out tomorrow.”

David Reynolds was fourth ahead of Tickford's Lee Holdsworth and Chaz Mostert, while runaway points leader Scott McLaughlin was just seventh after struggling with kerb strikes at the business end of the session. 

“Just trying too hard. Today is probably the day to have a crack and see how much you can take,” said McLaughlin.

“I definitely found that, I think it happened every lap. It’s just me trying too hard, the car is really good, but I need to tone my driving down a little bit.”

Walkinshaw pair Scott Pye and James Courtney were next, Fabian Coulthard rounding out the Top 10.

Third practice results:

Cla Driver Car Time Gap
1 Australia Cameron Waters
Australia Michael Caruso
Ford Mustang GT 01'09.953
2 New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen
Australia Garth Tander
Holden Commodore ZB 01'10.046 00.093
3 Australia Jamie Whincup
Australia Craig Lowndes
Holden Commodore ZB 01'10.096 00.143
4 Australia David Reynolds
Australia Luke Youlden
Holden Commodore ZB 01'10.119 00.165
5 Australia Lee Holdsworth
Australia Thomas Randle
Ford Mustang GT 01'10.175 00.222
6 Australia Chaz Mostert
Australia James Moffat
Ford Mustang GT 01'10.293 00.340
7 New Zealand Scott McLaughlin
France Alexandre Prémat
Ford Mustang GT 01'10.300 00.347
8 Australia Scott Pye
Australia Warren Luff
Holden Commodore ZB 01'10.325 00.372
9 Australia James Courtney
Jack Perkins
Holden Commodore ZB 01'10.356 00.403
10 New Zealand Fabian Coulthard
Australia Tony D'Alberto
Ford Mustang GT 01'10.387 00.433
11 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner
Australia Bryce Fullwood
Nissan Altima 01'10.501 00.548
12 Australia Will Davison
Australia Alex Davison
Ford Mustang GT 01'10.587 00.633
13 Australia Mark Winterbottom
New Zealand Steven Richards
Holden Commodore ZB 01'10.587 00.633
14 Australia Nick Percat
Australia Tim Blanchard
Holden Commodore ZB 01'10.774 00.821
15 Australia Anton De Pasquale
Australia Will Brown
Holden Commodore ZB 01'10.857 00.903
16 Australia Todd Hazelwood
United States Jack Smith
Holden Commodore ZB 01'10.921 00.967
17 Australia Rick Kelly
Australia Dale Wood
Nissan Altima 01'11.035 01.082
18 Australia Jack Le Brocq
Australia Jonathon Webb
Holden Commodore ZB 01'11.069 01.115
19 New Zealand Richie Stanaway
New Zealand Chris Pither
Holden Commodore ZB 01'11.179 01.226
20 Australia Tim Slade
Australia Ash Walsh
Holden Commodore ZB 01'11.244 01.291
21 Australia Macauley Jones
Australia Dean Canto
Holden Commodore ZB 01'11.361 01.408
22 Australia Garry Jacobson
Australia Dean Fiore
Nissan Altima 01'11.448 01.495
23 Australia James Golding
Richard Muscat
Holden Commodore ZB 01'11.495 01.542
24 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro
Australia Alex Rullo
Nissan Altima 01'11.682 01.728
25 Brodie Kostecki
Australia Jake Kostecki
Holden Commodore ZB 01'12.110 02.156

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