Bathurst 1000, 2019: McLaughlin breaks his own Mount Panorama practice-qualifying Supercars lap record

FLYING: Scott McLaughlin broke his own Supercars lap record at Mount Panorama during Thursday's final practice session. Photo: PHIL BLATCH
FLYING: Scott McLaughlin broke his own Supercars lap record at Mount Panorama during Thursday's final practice session. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

SUPERCARS Championship leader Scott McLaughlin has put his rivals on notice by lowering his record mark at Mount Panorama with a two minutes and 3.7728 second lap in practice.

McLaughlin bettered his 2017 top ten shootout time of 2:03.8312 late in Thursday's third practice session, and it's making a lap even in the 2:02s look like an outside chance across the next two days.

It was a memorable practice session not only for McLaughlin but for Ford fans too.

Mustangs took up six of the top seven spots in the session.

Jamie Whincup in the Triple Eight Race Engineering entry was the only Commodore in that group, driving the second fastest lap of the day with a 2:03.9327.

McLaughlin was thrilled to better his own mark, and is hopeful the weather provides drivers and fans with chances for even better lap times to come.

"I knew that we could go a little bit quicker after our second last run. It's so quick across the top now and we're so committed," he said.

"I had a lot of fun and hopefully tomorrow the rain holds off so everyone can have a crack in the dry but I highly doubt that will happen."

Shane van Gisbergen got the ball rolling in the third and final practice session when he went 2:04.6223 to become the new fastest driver of the day.

McLaughlin then bettered that mark with a 2:04.2835, putting himself less than half a second away from his famous 2017 shootout time.

He ducked into pit lane before heading out on a late dash around the circuit.

With two green tyres on the car McLaughlin still managed to deliver a new record time in that window.

Now McLaughlin's hopeful he can better that effort when the pressure's on.

"It feels weird because it's Thursday so the euphoria's going to be completely different to when I first did the three," he said.

"We had a good car from the car. It's good not having to change things too much, only just tinkering with it to a point. I'm sure it's going to be faster if things stay dry.

"It's basically just a good start to the weekend. I've learned, well and truly, that it's Sunday afternoon which counts and we're focused on that.

"The car for me still feels pretty much the same [following parity adjustments] but the overall lap time is faster. You're just carrying that little bit more speed."

Four drivers managed to record a time in the 2:03s during the final session.

Cam Waters was third in practice thanks to a 2:03.9490 while Will Davison snuck in the 'three club' with his 2:03.9918.

Not all cars managed to make it through the three practice sessions unscathed.

Macauley Jones brought out the red flag midway through the opening session when his crash on The Cutting peeled the roof off his Tim Blanchard Racing Commodore.

There was drama for 2017 winner Luke Youlden in the co-drivers' session when his heavy impact at Reid Park once again had marshalls waving red.

Jones' co-driver Dean Canto was able to take their car out for the third practice session but the Dave Reynolds and Youlden Erebus Motorsport entry stayed in the garage.

This story Red hot pace: McLaughlin betters his own record mark in practice first appeared on Western Advocate.