Bathurst 1000 LIVE: Bathurst ‘lottery’ nears as grey skies promise chaotic shootout
Saturday practice is in the books with the afternoon’s highly-anticipated Top 10 Shootout rapidly approaching under the threat of some wild weather.
Rain and storms are being predicted to hit Mount Panorama this afternoon ahead of the no-holds-barred 45-minute session scheduled for 5.05pm.
Rain also hit the mountain late on Friday in an exciting qualifying session that saw Lee Holdsworth claim provisional pole at Bathurst for the first time in his 16-year Supercars career.
Follow Saturday’s action at Mount Panorama in the live blog at the bottom of the page!
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The session had earlier been red-flagged by a Jake Kostecki shunt, before the weather helped Holdsworth to cling to the top of the leaderboard in his Tickford Mustang.
With Sunday’s race start already moved forward half an hour to 11am due to looming wild weather, Saturday’s Shootout is now also being tipped to be heavily impacted by the heavens.
The Bureau of Meteorology forecast for Saturday (as of Saturday afternoon) predicts: “High (70%) and the chance of a thunderstorm this afternoon and evening.”
“It’s going to be interesting, I think in 2015 we had the same thing where it could be a weather affected shootout,” Shane van Gisbergen said.
“It’s just a lottery what end of the show you are. Hopefully it falls our way and down the end it is starting to dry up or getting cooler or whatever.
“Hopefully everyone gets a fair shot at least.”
Holdsworth will be the last of the drivers to hit the track in the Shootout. But what is usually an crucial advantage could turn to a nightmare if the weather turns nasty – and the very same rain that ensured his provisional pole could deny him a chance at the first row when it really matters.
Holdsworth also said it could be “a bit of a lottery”, adding: “As long as you’re in the 10, it’ll work itself out.”
Kostecki crash ruins lap2:26
Meanwhile, enduro veteran Warren Luff topped the timesheets in the third and final dedicated practice session for co-drivers on Saturday morning, before Cameron Waters went fastest in Practice 7. Pairing with Chaz Mostert in the #25 Walkinshaw Andretti United Holden, Luff paced the field in Practice 6 with a 2:05.4597s best.
That time was set with 15 of the 60 minutes remaining, knocking previous fast-man Garth Tander from the head of the order.
Young gun Thomas Randle was a late improver to split Luff and Tander aboard Nick Percat’s Brad Jones Racing Holden, falling 0.2820s adrift of the benchmark.
James Moffat, driving Jack Le Brocq’s Supercheap Mustang, was fourth ahead of David Russell – a surprise top contender in Garry Jacobson’s Matt Stone Racing Holden.
In Saturday’s final practice session, Waters was quickest ahead of Holdsworth and Chaz Mostert.
Of the Shootout runners, van Gisbergen wasted no time putting down a benchmark time, clocking 2:04.6283s in the early minutes before handing over to co-driver Garth Tander.
That stood until just six minutes to go, when Friday qualifying pacesetter Holdsworth went 0.1641s quicker.
Waters though had the last laugh, shaving 0.1149s from his teammate’s time with 2:04.3493s – narrowly avoiding the Forrest’s Elbow exit wall in the process.
— With Supercars.com
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SATURDAY SCHEDULE (all times AEDT)
Practice 6 (co-drivers only): 9:10 am - 10:10 am
Practice 7: 11:35 am - 12:35 pm
Top Ten Shootout: 5:05 pm - 5:50 pm
TOP TEN SHOOTOUT ORDER:
The top ten after Friday’s qualifying session were as such:
Lee Holdsworth, Shane van Gisbergen, Scott McLaughlin and Cameron Waters, then Jamie Whincup, Fabian Coulthard, Anton De Pasquale, Chaz Mostert, James Courtney and Nick Percat.
They will take to the track in reverse order.
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