ITM 400 updates: Winterbottom finishes fastest

By Michael Brown

Fabian Coulthard . Photo / Getty Images
Fabian Coulthard . Photo / Getty Images

4:40pm An exciting Aussie, Kiwi showdown beckons tomorrow in the ITM 400 Auckland following the completion of today's practice rounds in Pukekohe.

Australian Mark Winterbottom recorded the best time in his fourth round, followed by Jamie Whincup (Aus), Fabian Coulthard (NZ), Craig Lowndes (Aus) and Shane Van Gisbergen (NZ).

All five went under 1.03 for the 2.91km track.

Red Bull racing drivers Whincup and Lowndes saved their best for last with strong finishes in the fourth practice round, while young Kiwi Scott McLaughlin impressed with a sixth fastest time of 1:03.01.

Shane Van Gisbergen was fastest in the second and third sessions.

2.30pm: The New Zealand dominance of today's practice at the ITM 400 Auckland at Pukekohe today continued when Shane Van Ginsbergen went quickest in the third session.

Van Gisbergen was also fastest in the second session and Fabian Coulthard was quickest in the first session. There's one more 30-minute practice session at 3.35pm before tomorrow's two qualifying sessions, top-10 shootout and two races.

Van Gisbergen went around the 2.91km track in 1:03.1922, the fastest lap of the day and 0.4319 quicker than David Wall (1:03.1922) and Lee Holdsworth (1:03.5205).

Series leader Jamie Whincup was 12th fastest, Coulthard 18th and Scott McLaughlin 19th but all three were probably running on older tyres.

12.35pm: Shane Van Gisbergen found some good speed in today's second practice for the ITM 400 Auckland, setting the fastest time in his Tekno Autosport Holden Commodore.

Van Gisbergen was a winner on the opening round of racing this year at the Clipsal 500 and clearly has a competitive package this weekend. His time of 1:3.2157 was nearly half a second faster than what Fabian Coulthard achieved when he went fastest in the first practice session this morning.

Jason Bright was second quickest, 0.3308 seconds behind Van Gisbergen, with series lelader Jamie Whincup third.

Coulthard could manage only the 13th fastest time, and his time of 1:03.9991 was nearly 0.33 seconds slower than the first practice session.

Young Kiwi Scott McLaughlin was 12th fastest and Jonny Reid 26th out of 27.

11.11am: Fabian Coulthard continued his good form in the V8 Supercars, setting the fastest time in the first practice session at the ITM 400 Auckland at the remodelled Pukekohe track this morning.

Coulthard, who won two out of three races last weekend in Tasmania, took his Lockwood Racing Holden Commodore around the 2.91km track in one minute 3.6938 seconds. It was 0.2579 seconds faster than Mark Winterbottom (Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford) in second and David Reynolds (The Bottle-O FPR Ford) in third.

Series leader Jamie Whincup (Red Bull Racing Australia) set the sixth fastest time, 0.4540 seconds behind Coulthard and just behind young Kiwi Scott McLaughlin (Fujitsuu Racing GRM) who was fifth fastest.

Shane Van Gisbergen (Tekno Team VIP) was 11th fastest and Jonny Reid (Wilson Security Racing) was well down in 26th, 1.1880 seconds slower than Coulthard.

The second practice session is due to get under way at 12.05pm.

- APNZ

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