Pukekohe Supercars: McLaughlin fastest despite spin in P1

Scott McLaughlin made a perfect start to his home Supercars round in New Zealand, topping the opening practice session by over a tenth.

Pukekohe Supercars: McLaughlin fastest despite spin in P1

The DJR Team Penske driver effectively led the way throughout the session, going fastest early with a 1m03.080s before spinning at the hairpin.

That time proved hard to beat, and it wasn't until McLaughlin made an early switch to green tyres – looking to use the dry conditions for a qualifying simulation – that he went quicker.

The improvement was a 1m02.715s, good enough for McLaughlin to be able to sit out the last couple of minutes of the session and still end up comfortably on top.

"It might rain this afternoon, so it was nice to get a feel before qualifying tomorrow if it is dry," said McLaughlin.

"The car feels nice. [I had] a couple of little offs, but just trying to find the limit.

"The track is quite green, there's not much grip out there at moment. Trying to brake where you did last year isn't working.

"It's okay, as long as we're fastest that's the main thing."

McLaughlin's teammate Fabian Coulthard was second fastest, jumping to within two-tenths of top spot right at the flag.

Jamie Whincup was third fastest, like Coulthard improving right at the flag to put the key title contenders one-two-three.

Tim Slade was best of the rest in fourth, knocking David Reynolds down to fifth on his final lap.

James Courtney improved to sixth at the end of the session, ahead of James Moffat, Lee Holdsworth, Craig Lowndes, and Jason Bright.

Chaz Mostert was just 11th fastest, failing to find much time on his final run having sat second before the late flurry of times.

Shane van Gisbergen, another driver technically still in the title fight, finished up way down in 19th.

The fast Pukekohe circuit claimed a couple of scalps throughout the session, the first being LD Motorsport newcomer Jack Perkins, who hit the wall coming onto the main straight.

His teammate Aaren Russell later brought out the session's sole red flag when he buried his Commodore in the sand on the outside of Turn 1 after a high-speed off.

ClaDriverCarTimeGap
1 17 new_zealand  Scott McLaughlin  Ford Falcon FG-X 1'02.7153  
2 12 new_zealand  Fabian Coulthard  Ford Falcon FG/X 1'02.8831 0.1678
3 88 australia  Jamie Whincup  Holden Commodore VF 1'02.9404 0.2251
4 14 australia  Tim Slade  Holden Commodore VF 1'03.0376 0.3223
5 9 australia  David Reynolds  Holden Commodore VF 1'03.0780 0.3627
6 22 australia  James Courtney  Holden Commodore VF 1'03.1069 0.3916
7 34 australia  James Moffat  Holden Commodore VF 1'03.1516 0.4363
8 18 australia  Lee Holdsworth  Holden Commodore VF 1'03.2604 0.5451
9 888 australia  Craig Lowndes  Holden Commodore VF 1'03.2850 0.5697
10 56 australia  Jason Bright  Ford Falcon FG-X 1'03.3041 0.5888
11 55 australia  Chaz Mostert  Ford Falcon FG-X 1'03.3278 0.6125
12 5 australia  Mark Winterbottom  Ford Falcon FG-X 1'03.3955 0.6802
13 8 australia  Nick Percat  Holden Commodore VF 1'03.4314 0.7161
14 99 australia  Dale Wood  Holden Commodore VF 1'03.4705 0.7552
15 15 australia  Rick Kelly  Nissan Altima 1'03.4837 0.7684
16 2 australia  Scott Pye  Holden Commodore VF 1'03.5151 0.7998
17 19 australia  Will Davison  Holden Commodore VF 1'03.5164 0.8011
18 23 australia  Michael Caruso  Nissan Altima 1'03.5468 0.8315
19 97 new_zealand  Shane van Gisbergen  Holden Commodore VF 1'03.5736 0.8583
20 78 switzerland  Simona de Silvestro  Nissan Altima 1'03.7024 0.9871
21 7 australia  Todd Kelly  Nissan Altima 1'03.7566 1.0413
22 21 australia  Tim Blanchard  Holden Commodore VF 1'03.7807 1.0654
23 33 australia  Garth Tander  Holden Commodore VF 1'03.8380 1.1227
24 6 australia  Cameron Waters  Ford Falcon FG-X 1'03.8730 1.1577
25 3 australia  Aaren Russell  Holden Commodore VF 1'04.3905 1.6752
26 62 australia  Jack Perkins  Holden Commodore VF 1'04.8697 2.1544
shares
comments
Van Gisbergen holding on to Supercars title defence dream

Previous article

Van Gisbergen holding on to Supercars title defence dream

Next article

Pukekohe Supercars: Waters tops title contenders in Practice 2

Pukekohe Supercars: Waters tops title contenders in Practice 2
Load comments

About this article

Series Supercars
Event Auckland
Location Pukekohe Park Raceway
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Prime

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

Roger Penske's whirlwind Australian Supercars sojourn is over. After six seasons, three drivers' titles, three teams' championships and a Bathurst 1000 crown, The Captain has sold his controlling stake in Dick Johnson Racing back to the squad and walked away from the category.

Supercars
Feb 26, 2021
Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader? Prime

Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader?

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But does he have what it takes to be the new Roland Dane?

Supercars
Feb 8, 2021
How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year Prime

How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year

David Reynolds inked what was effectively a lifetime deal with Erebus in 2019 – only to walk out a year later. What went wrong?

Supercars
Dec 18, 2020
Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester" Prime

Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester"

Scott McLaughlin has been a controversial figure in Supercars over the past few years but, as he heads off to a fresh challenge in IndyCar, the Australian tin-top series needs to find someone else to fill his drama-filled boots as the category enters a new era...

Supercars
Nov 3, 2020
Why 2020 isn't McLaughlin's greatest title Prime

Why 2020 isn't McLaughlin's greatest title

Scott McLaughlin was quick to describe his third Supercars title as his best yet. But even though it didn't match the dramatic backstory of his 2018 triumph, there's a good reason for him wanting to control the narrative this time around.

Supercars
Oct 2, 2020
Why a Bathurst finale is risky business for Supercars Prime

Why a Bathurst finale is risky business for Supercars

The Bathurst Grand Final may provide Supercars its greatest spectacle yet – but there's a risk it will force the series to face a hard truth.

Supercars
Sep 4, 2020
Why Scott McLaughlin must become an IndyCar driver Prime

Why Scott McLaughlin must become an IndyCar driver

Scott McLaughlin, two-time and current Supercars champion, should have been making his NTT IndyCar Series debut for Team Penske at the GP of Indianapolis, but the Covid-19 pandemic forced a rescheduling that has put the brakes on his career switch. But David Malsher-Lopez explains why the New Zealander deserves this opportunity as soon as possible.

IndyCar
Jul 4, 2020
Tickford's 10-year wait for James Courtney Prime

Tickford's 10-year wait for James Courtney

When the Supercars season resumes James Courtney will be a Tickford Racing driver – but it's not the first time the star driver has flirted with the famous Ford squad.

Supercars
May 19, 2020