Whincup tops Practice 4 at Tasmania SuperSprint
JAMIE Whincup continued his storming run through the Tasmania SuperSprint weekend, advancing directly to Q2 after topping Practice 4.
The reigning Supercars champion led the group of 10 drivers who automatically advance to the second part of qualifying, leading teammate Craig Lowndes and Scott McLaughlin in the 20-minute session.
Despite misty rain falling throughout the preceding Dunlop Super2 Series race, the track was dry when the Supercars hit the track for their opening practice of Sunday.
Whincup led order for most of the session before the flying laps began with a couple of minutes left.
Lowndes was the first to jump to the top on a 50.721s, followed closely by McLaughlin and impressive rookie Jack Le Brocq.
Whincup returned to the top with a 50.690s with just over a minute remaining, a time no-one else was able to match.
Saturday pole man Shane van Gisbergen bumped his way in after the chequered flag flew, his time only good enough for eighth but set on used tyres, Triple Eight focusing on setting up the No.97 for the race after fading from the front on Saturday.
SVG's time briefly bumped Saturday sparring partner David Reynolds out of the 10, but the Bathurst 1000 winner's last lap put him back up to fifth, with James Courtney, Garth Tander, van Gisbergen, Fabian Coulthard and Rick Kelly comprising the other drivers who automatically advance to Q2.
Cam Waters was the unlucky last driver to be bumped, ending up just 0.015s shy of the cut in 11th.
He was the best of the Tickford drivers, whose difficult weekend in Tasmania continued with Mark Winterbottom 16th, Chaz Mostert 21st and Richie Stanaway last in 26th.
Nick Percat and Tim Blanchard both skated through the gravel at Turn 2 on their final flyers and missed the Q2 cut, Percat the best of the Brad Jones Racing cars in 13th.
The drivers from 11th to 26th will head out onto the track first for Qualifying 1 at 11:05am to battle it out for six transfer spots to join the 10 fastest in Qualifying 2.
The 10 fastest will then progress to Qualifying 3 to battle for the top 10 grid positions for Race 8.