Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - TRENT SLATTER trent. slatter@ news. com. au

CHAZ Mostert is con­fi­dent his re­cent car trou­bles in Dar­win are now be­hind him af­ter the Pro­drive star topped yes­ter­day’s sec­ond prac­tice ses­sion at the Townsville 400.

Mostert was the quick­est around the Reid Park street cir­cuit ahead of fel­low Ford young gun Scott McLaughlin and de­fend­ing Su­per­cars cham­pion Shane van Gis­ber­gen.

Mark Win­ter­bot­tom had sat atop the or­der from the half­way mark with a 1: 12.54 best, but he was bumped to fourth in the dy­ing min­utes af­ter a red flag stop­page to re­trieve Dale Wood’s stranded Holden.

McLaughlin clocked a 1: 12.43 lap de­spite los­ing time by drop­ping a left­rear wheel off the road through Turn 9, but Mostert im­me­di­ately went 0.16 quicker to fin­ish on top in a thrilling fin­ish.

Van Gis­ber­gen was the other big im­prover, with last year’s Sun­day race win­ner end­ing up third on 1: 12.48, while Win­ter­bot­tom set­tled for fourth ahead of Jamie Whin­cup and Prac­tice 1 pace­set­ter David Reynolds.

Mostert is com­ing off a frus­trat­ing round in Dar­win where the Pro­drive team strug­gled with their car set- up, but he felt they now had the No. 55 Fal­con FG- X run­ning in top con­di­tion.

“It was a pretty good ses­sion for us and a big turn­around from what hap­pened in Dar­win,” Mostert said.

“It’s a credit to all the guys at PRA to go through the data af­ter that last round and try­ing to work out where we’ve tracked down the wrong path. The car at the gate felt pretty rea­son­able … but once the tyres heat up it de­grades a bit around here be­ing a street track and be­ing quite hot so it was very hard to get an idea on the di­rec­tion we needed to head.

“I think by the end of prac­tice two we got some­thing that we were rea­son­ably happy with.”

Mean­while, McLaughlin pro­duced an­other im­pres­sive dis­play of speed in the sec­ond prac­tice as he chases a maiden vic­tory in Townsville.

The Shell V- Power star has won four of the past six races, but McLaughlin stressed there were no guar­an­tees this week­end de­spite his blis­ter­ing re­cent form.

“I wouldn’t say I’m des­per­ate to win, ( but) I’d love to win here. Ev­ery time I go out, I want to win,” McLaughlin said.

“Townsville’s an awe­some event and some­thing that’s pretty spe­cial on the cal­en­dar for all of us so to win here in the sun would be fan­tas­tic, but we’ve got a long way to go yet.

“We’ve got to chase down Chaz, he’s bloody quick at the mo­ment so we’ll have a good crack at it.”

Driv­ers had to en­dure swel­ter­ing con­di­tions dur­ing prac­tice and they can ex­pect lit­tle re­lief to­day, with Mostert say­ing he was pre­pared for some tough rac­ing across the week­end.

“It’s pretty hu­mid out there at the mo­ment. I didn’t put on a cool suit ( yes­ter­day) so I’m feel­ing a bit cooked,” he said.

“There will be a lot of ice baths and a lot of keep­ing cool in the garage — it’s go­ing to be a tough week­end out there.”


Chaz Mostert — Su­percheap Auto Rac­ing — 1: 12.2648

Scott McLaughlin — Shell VPow­erRac­ing Team — 1: 12.4275

Shane Van Gis­ber­gen — Red Bull Holden Rac­ing Team — 1: 12.4832

Mark Win­ter­bot­tom — The Bot­tleO Rac­ing Team — 1: 12.5365

Jamie Whin­cup — Red Bull Holden Rac­ing Team — 1: 12.5998


1. David Reynolds — Ere­bus Pen­rite Rac­ing — 01: 12.8920

2. Todd Kelly — carsales Rac­ing — 1: 12.9887

3. Shane Van Gis­ber­gen — Red Bull Holden Rac­ing Team — 1: 13.0945

4. Craig Lown­des — TeamVor­tex — 1: 13.1401

5. Tim Slade — Freight­liner Rac­ing — 1: 12.1497

Pic­tures: ZAK SIM­MONDS

FAST START: Su­percheap Auto Rac­ing driver Chaz Mostert ( main) and Ere­bus’ David Reynolds ( in­set) both topped a prac­tice ses­sion dur­ing the open­ing day of the Townsville 400 from Reid Park.

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