FORD star Scott McLaughlin is on track for yet another pole position after dominating the final practice session of the Supercars event in Perth.
The DJR Team Penske driver, who has six pole positions already in 2019, clocked a fastest lap of 53.1252 seconds to top the timesheets in Friday’s half-hour session.
McLaughlin’s time was enough for him to finish ahead of Tickford Racing’s Chaz Mostert (53.2429) and Holden’s Nick Percat (53.3921).
The defending series champion, who is on a four-race winning streak at Barbagallo Raceway, said the high levels of grip on the newly resurfaced 2.4km circuit gave drivers licence to push their vehicles to the limit.
“It’s really awesome, the car’s so good around here,” McLaughlin told Fox Sports.
“It’s a great track it just never had any grip. Now we’ve got grip and we’re just throwing it in.”
McLaughlin’s time offers further evidence aerodynamic changes to the Ford Mustang due to parity issues hasn’t had much affect on the car’s overall performance.
McLaughlin’s teammate and main championship rival Fabian Coulthard was fourth-quickest in the session.
Holden’s Shane Van Gisbergen just snuck into the top 10 to automatically progress to the second section of Friday afternoon’s qualifying but there was no joy for his Red Bull Holden Racing Team stablemate Jamie Whincup.
The seven-time champion, who topped the timesheets in Thursday night’s practice, was penalised for kerb-hopping on a flying lap and could only post the 18th-quickest lap of the session.
It means Whincup will have to take part in all three portions of qualifying if he’s to be at the top of the grid for Friday evening’s 50-lap race under lights.
The race is set to start at 4.45pm.