Sydney 500 V8s: Van Gisbergen fastest again in third practice

Shane van Gisbergen completed his Friday practice clean-sweep by topping the third and final session of the day at Sydney Olympic Park.

Sydney 500 V8s: Van Gisbergen fastest again in third practice
Shane van Gisbergen, Tekno Autosports Holden
Jason Bright, Brad Jones Racing Holden
Scott McLaughlin, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
Craig Lowndes, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Mark Winterbottom, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford

The Tekno driver wasted little time getting up to speed, going fastest with a 1m28.255s on his first flying lap.

He was then shuffled down to P4 inside the last 10 minutes of the session as Scott McLaughlin, James Courtney, and Michael Caruso all improved. But van Gisbergen hit back on his last lap, fastest second and third sectors giving him P1 with a 1m27.765s.

For the second session in a row, Jason Bright was second fastest. The Brad Jones Racing driver improved late with a 1m27.853s, enough to edge out Jamie Whincup by four-hundredths.

David Reynolds was fourth fastest, ahead of McLaughlin, Courtney, and Caruso who were 1-2-3 with five minutes to go.

As for the title contenders, Craig Lowndes was P8 with a 1m28.249s, while Mark Winterbottom was back in 11th with 1m28.374s – although the Prodrive Falcon never ran on green tyres.

“They weren’t [green],” he confirmed. “It was okay, it was better. A new set will be interesting tomorrow. We’re hanging on, it’s a bit loose out there.”

The session also saw the first red flag of the weekend, thanks to Chris Pither flying over the tyre bundle at Turn 6.

“We’re pushing harder and harder today, it’s a big opportunity for me to get some time in the car,” he said.

“We were building up to it, slowly chipping away. But obviously I was a little bit too greedy there. I basically mounted one of the tyre bundles at Turn 6 and it damaged the front the front a little bit.

“But overall, pretty happy with the progress that we’re making.”

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