Scott McLaughlin lowered the lap record for the second time in as many days, but Practice 5 at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 claimed a major victim.
With a quarter of the 60-minute session remaining, Jamie Whincup — who was fastest in Practice 1 on Thursday — crashed on entry into The Dipper as he avoided Richie Stanaway’s accident.
Stanaway put his #33 Boost Mobile Racing entry into the tyre barriers down through Skyline, and Whincup — just behind — managed to avoid the stricken car.
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Practice 3: McLaughlin sets hot pace on Bathurst opening day
Practice 2: Crashes headline opening practice sessions
Practice 1: Whincup sets hot pace as Jones crashes
Ultimate guide: Everything you need to know about the Bathurst 1000
However, carrying pace and running offline, Whincup was helpless to avoid his own accident into the entry of The Dipper.
Replays suggested no yellow flags were on display — however, such was the proximity between Stanaway and Whincup that there was little chance for the four-time Bathurst winner to avoid an accident.
Earlier, McLaughlin’s 2:03.4813s ripper saw his 2:03.7728s Practice 3 best wiped away day on day.
Kelly Racing’s Andre Heimgartner also dropped into the 2:03s bracket with a 2:03.9853s before the session was called following a spate of late red flags.
McLaughlin’s gap over Heimgartner was a whopping 0.5040s.
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Two other red flags, for offs at Hell Corner for Simona De Silvestro and wildcard Alexander Rossi, also punctuated the session.
The Rossi red flag brought the session to an early end, just after Heimgartner dropped the #7 Plus Fitness Altima into second.
Heimgartner led Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) and David Reynolds, who demonstrated impressive pace in his repaired #9 Penrite Racing ZB Commodore.
For McLaughlin, the quest to go even faster got stronger, but the threat of inclement weather in qualifying remains.
“It was a full-on lap and then you get told on the radio the team wants you to go a bit faster in the first sector,” McLaughlin said.
“It’s like ‘come on boys, give me something!’
“Probably nine [tenths of commitment] … you’ve got to have some sort of feel in case it is dry for qualifying. I’m not sure if it’s going to be wet as well.
“I’m within my limit, I am being safe, but I’m hanging on to a point where a 3.4, it’s pretty fast across the top for anyone.
“It’s cool to be there, but I think there’s more in it yet.”
The 40-minute qualifying session starts at 4:00pm AEDT.
FULL RESULTS HERE.