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CHAZ MOSTERT ON TOP IN IPSWICH

Chaz Mostert set the pace in practice at Queensland Raceway - Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

Chaz Mostert set the pace in practice at Queensland Raceway – Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

Chaz Mostert has thrown down the gauntlet for this weekend’s Supercars races by topping Practice at Ipswich on Friday.

The SuperCheap Autos driver threw his Ford Falcon around the track in 1m08.996s, to take top time by 0.199s. As one of only two Australian race winners from the season so far, Mostert will be looking to double up over the weekend.

“The car felt pretty good for most of the day,” he said.

“It’s not every day you see an ‘eight’ around QR. Not for the Victorian teams, anyway…

“I think that the track has deteriorated over the last few years but it was one of my best times here. There is a bit of understeer there [through Turns 1 and 2] but I think it will be good tomorrow.”

Fabian Coulthard ended practice second fastest - Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

Fabian Coulthard ended practice second fastest – Photo: Rhys Vandersyde

Second fastest was Fabian Coulthard, the former points leader on 1m09.1059s. DJR Team Penske did not have a completely clean day, with Scott McLaughlin only 10th fastest. The team was not unduly concerned, confident that both would be on the pace for Qualifying.

Shane van Gisbergen came back to set third best time in the session. He lost some track time with a low pressure warning on his Red Bull HRT Commodore, but set a 1m09. 2165s for P2.

Nissan’s strong form at Queensland Raceway continued, with Rick Kelly fourth ahead of David Reynolds. Once again the Erebus Commodore was quick across the day, and big changes helped in the afternoon.

“It wasn’t too good so we reversed it, and the speed came back,” said Reynolds who did not run new tyres in the session. “I did not a bit of a scrappy lap at the end.”

Best of the Wildcard drivers was Jack Le Brocq in 18th, the MW Motorsport Nissan only 0.65s from Mostert’s time. Second fastest Wildcard driver was Todd Hazelwood, three places back.

Earlier in the day Hazelwood laid down a calling card. The endurance rookie led the opening co-drivers’ session, topping Steven Richards and fellow wildcard driver Shae Davies. The difference between he and Davies though was though that Hazelwood was driving BJR’s #21 CoolDrive Commodore, which he will share with regular driver Tim Blanchard at Sandown, Bathurst and the Gold Coast.

Saturday’s action starts at 1045 with Practice, with Qualifying at 1330 and Race 15 over 39 laps at 1615.

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