Whincup fastest in Supercars practice at Barbagallo

Championship leader Scott McLaughlin. Picture: Barnsiesphotos
Championship leader Scott McLaughlin. Picture: Barnsiesphotos

HOLDEN star Jamie Whincup has beaten his Ford rivals to post the fastest time in Thursday’s Supercars practice under lights in Perth.

The seven-time drivers’ champion posted a fastest lap of 53.4430 seconds to finish ahead of a trio of Mustangs at Barbagallo Raceway.

Chaz Mostert led the way for the Blue Oval with a 53.4676s lap to show forced aerodynamic changes to the Mustang haven’t had any dramatic impact on its pace.

Milwaukee Racing’s Will Davison was third-fastest ahead of another Ford in Fabian Coulthard.

Series leader and defending champion Scott McLaughlin was eighth-fastest as the entire field eclipsed the New Zealander’s 2017 practice lap record at the 2.4km circuit, which has been resurfaced ahead of this year’s event.

Scott McLaughlin signed for fans in Perth and at Nuford in Wangara. Picture: Josh Cochrane

McLaughlin was driving in front of the watching eyes of DJR Team Penske owner, Roger Penske, who has flown from the United States to attend the first night event at Perth along with Ford’s global head of motorsport, Mark Rushbrook.

The only incident of note in the session was a puncture to Holden’s Scott Pye which forced him to drive back to the pits with a load of dirt spilling from his front splitter after going off track.

The event continues on Friday with a 50-lap race, just the second under lights in 21 years for Supercars following last year’s night race at Sydney Motorsport Park.