Bathurst 1000 2017: Qualifying Day as it happened

Live: Supercars Bathurst 1000, Practice Day.
Live: Supercars Bathurst 1000, Practice Day.Source: Getty Images

WELCOME to our live coverage of all the Supercars action at the 2017 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

Scott McLaughlin annihilated the lap record at Mount Panorama in the final practice session before qualifying, slashing almost a second out of Jamie Whincup’s previous mark to leave it at a stunning 2m04.1470s.

The Shell V-Power Racing Team driver carried that form into qualifying, setting the fastest time in a session curtailed a minute early after a crash from James Moffat

The schedule for Friday (all times AEDT):
8:45am — Practice 4 (60 min, co-drivers only)
11:40am — Practice 5 (60 min)
3:50pm — Qualifying (40 min)

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PRACTICE 2 at the Japanese GP was a near total washout as only five drivers posted a time in the treacherous conditions, with Lewis Hamilton setting the pace.

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A torrential downpour in between Friday’s practice sessions meant running was extremely limited as rivers formed on track and FP2 was cut to just 45 minutes due to the wet weather.

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Fourteen drivers ventured out of the sodden pits for installation laps but only five posted times, with Hamilton topping the timesheets with a 1:48.719 on the full wet tyres.

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WATCH the Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix on EXCLUSIVELY LIVE on FOX SPORTS. Get your free 2-week Foxtel Now trial and start watching in minutes. SIGN UP NOW >

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TV TIMES: When to watch the Formula 1 Japanese GP on FOX SPORTS

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In fact, Hamilton was the only driver from Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull to set a time in the session.

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Drivers were unsurprisingly extremely cautious when it came to pushing their cars to the limit in the conditions, though Lance Stroll had an off at Turn One and narrowly avoided a major shunt with the barriers after driving through the gravel.

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And the rain could also play havoc with teams’ set up for the weekend, with more showers expected for Saturday’s final practice session. Qualifying and the race should be mainly dry.

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In the more suitable conditions in Practice One, Sebastian Vettel — a four-time winner at Suzuka — was fastest for Ferrari, though championship rival Hamitlon was just 0.2s behind as Mercedes improved on their Malaysia GP pace.

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RESULTS – Practice 2, Formula 1 Japanese GP (90 min)

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Pos No. Driver Team Time/Gap
1 (44) Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1m48.719s
2 (31) Esteban Ocon (Force India) +0.799s
3 (11) Sergio Perez (Force India) +2.626s
4 (19) Lance Stroll (Williams) +3.427s
5 (18) Felipe Massa (Williams) +3.624s

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Story originally appeared on Sky Sports

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QUALIFYING ended with an anticlimax, but nobody was going to deny Scott McLaughlin provisional pole position for the Bathurst 1000.

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McLaughlin didn’t quite manage to break into the ‘threes’ as forecast by his stunning practice laps, but a 2m04.22s was more than good enough to secure him the final run in Saturday’s Top 10 Shootout.

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David Reynolds ended the session second fastest — but only barely.

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RESULTS: Click here for full results from Qualifying, Bathurst 1000

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The session was red-flagged with less than a minute remaining after James Moffat crashed on the run into the Dipper, the fifth crash in the same spot across all categories so far this weekend.

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Moffat had been inside the top 10 at the time of his crash but was stripped of his fastest lap for causing the red flag, dropping him to 22nd place.

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Reynolds completed his lap fractions of a second before the session was stopped; had he crossed the line any later his time would not have counted.

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Fords filled most of the top 10 spots, with all six Falcons in the field qualifying for Saturday’s Shootout.

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Next year, all races of the 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, including the Bathurst 1000, will be brought to you ad-break free during racing by FOX SPORTS.

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After Reynolds, you had to scan past Chaz Mostert, Sandown 500-winner Cameron Waters, Mark Winterbottom and Fabian Coulthard before you got to the next Holden.

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Shane van Gisbergen was seventh fastest — extending his streak of Shootout appearances to 31 — in a dire session for Triple Eight.

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Jamie Whincup just failed to make the top 10 and will line up from 11th on the grid on Sunday, surviving a high-speed trip through the sand at The Chase early in the session.

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Behind van Gisbergen was James Courtney, Jason Bright and Garth Tander, lucky last into the Shootout by dint of teammate Moffat’s penalty.

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The best of the Nissans was Rick Kelly in 12th, one spot ahead of teammate Michael Caruso.

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Craig Lowndes will chase his seventh Bathurst 1000 victory from 19th on the grid, while reigning champion Will Davison could do no better than 16th after bending his suspension against the wall at Sulman Park and sitting out the closing minutes of the session.

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