McLaughlin pips Whincup in final practice at Ipswich
SUPERCARS series leader Scott McLaughlin has stated his intentions ahead of the Ipswich SuperSprint, topping final practice before qualifying at Queensland Raceway.
Ford gun McLaughlin left it until the dying moments of the 45-minute session to top practice by clocking one minute, 09.06 seconds, pipping Holden's Jamie Whincup by 0.01 of a second.
Supercars great Craig Lowndes was third fastest as he began his season swansong after announcing a fortnight ago he would retire from full-time racing at season's end.
McLaughlin is hoping to extend his series lead at his home track after coming into the Ipswich round with just a 131-point buffer over Holden's Shane van Gisbergen, who was fifth fastest on Saturday.
"I need a bit more from the car and me but overall it was a good session," McLaughlin said.
"I was just trying to find some balance in the car before quallies and I think I found that."
Seven-time series champion Whincup is also making his presence felt after resurrecting his 2018 title hopes with a win and podium at the last Townsville round.
Whincup is fourth on the standings, just 403 points behind leader McLaughlin.
Whincup learnt after practice that he was under investigation for failing to exit the pit lane correctly during the session.
"You never take anything at this place for granted so I will just keep my head down and stay focused," Whincup said.
Qualifying for the opening 39-lap race will be held from 1.25pm.
Racing starts at 4.15pm.