JAMIE Whincup has Supercars fans anticipating a broken lap record after coming close to doing so in Thursday’s third practice session for the Bathurst 1000.
The Red Bull Racing Australia driver was three tenths of a second away from his own record mark after producing a two minute and 5.2946 second lap late in Thursday’s session.
It was a quick practice session as nine drivers managed to get below the 2:06 mark.
Whincup put fresh tyres on his Holden Commodore towards the end of the one-hour period and the four-time Bathurst 1000 winner was pleased with what the car produced.
“The car was well balanced and we evolved as the session went on,” he said.
“I put on our first set of seven race tyres at the end of practice three to get a gauge of where we’re at and the car’s obviously very good. There’s still a few tweaks to make here and there but all in all I’m very happy at this stage.
“There are a lot of elements that make up Bathurst, there's plenty of challenges that lie ahead, you always want Sunday's race to reflect what you are capable of, it's an important one to bring home."
It wasn’t the first time on Thursday that Whincup had finished atop the leaderboard. He also was fastest in the first practice session thanks to a 2:05.9500.
However, Whincup’s not only driver within reach of the 2:04.9097 record mark.
DJR Team Penske driver Fabian Coulthard was never far off Whincup’s pace throughout Thursday’s last practice session, eventually forced to settle for second place with a 2:05.3680.
“It’s a good start. We stuck to our plan and we were similar to Jamie, we tried a new set of tyres there towards the end of practice three and it gives the boys something to look at overnight,” Coulthard said.
“We’re feeling pretty happy at this point. Obviously the long part of the weekend is still to go but … at the end of the day to be in P2, it’s been good.”
Chaz Mostert finished third in the session with a 2:05.7066.
Scott McLaughlin and Jason Bright rounded out the top five.
Practice session four starts Friday at 8.55am.