6 Nov 2015

McLaughlin fastest in Pukekohe practice

5:27 pm on 6 November 2015

Local driver Scott McLaughlin sits on top of the timing charts after a testing day of practice for the Auckland 500 at Pukekohe.

NZ driver Scott McLaughlin at the ITM 500

NZ driver Scott McLaughlin at the ITM 500 Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Christchurch-born Volvo driver stole the show with a late effort, recording 1:03.16 around the Pukekohe circuit to beat home a pair of championship chasers.

Mark Winterbottom was second quickest, with Craig Lowndes third.

In sunny and clear conditions, the bumpy circuit troubled drivers, with Jason Bright finding the wall after turn three.

The Team BOC man was thrown around the chicane and into the fence, with dirt thankfully slowing his impact but dislodging a front guard.

Both Red Bull entries were caught off guard through today's practice day.

Lowndes lost control of his Commodore halfway through the first session, spinning off the circuit and careering backwards through the grass.

His team-mate Jamie Whincup was one of several to miss turn five and instead take the short cut past turn six, where organisers have erected tyre barriers.

Whincup couldn't avoid a collision with the third tyre wall, continuing on without major damage.

Nissan pair James Moffat and Michael Caruso topped the timing charts in the first practice session but found themselves off the pace in session two, finishing 21st and 22nd.