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Percat tops practice at Winton Supercars

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/05/2017 Matt Coughlan

Holden's Nick Percat's flying lap has catapulted him to Friday's fastest Supercars practice time in improving conditions at Winton in Victoria.

It boosts Brad Jones Racing's hopes of more success on their home track after Tim Slade's maiden victory last year.

While the day's first session was conducted in treacherous conditions, heavy rain eased and sunshine began to dry the track.

As conditions improved during Friday's second session, so did the times, with Percat's lap of one minute and 28.1050 seconds topping the day.

There was a clear gap to second-placed Ford star Scott McLaughlin whose final lap was 1.1009 seconds slower than Percat.

Dave Reynolds finished third, while McLaughlin's DJR Team Penske teammate and championship leader Fabian Coulthard was fourth, with Prodrive Racing Australia's Cameron Waters rounding out the top five.

The order fluctuated in the dying stages of the session as a host of drivers finished with a flying lap.

In the first session, Percat collided with fellow Holden driver Scott Pye after he spun when his brakes locked heading into a turn.

McLaughlin was fastest in opening practice, but treacherous conditions meant the time was more than 15 seconds slower than Percat's effort.

There could hardly be a bigger contrast to McLaughlin's flying back-to-back victories in Perth.

The rain is expected to ease for Saturday's opening race, while Sunday's forecast is clear, making it hard for drivers and teams to glean too much from Friday's action.

In the second session, there were three red flags with Tim Blanchard and wildcards Macauley Jones and Shae Davies all getting bogged.

They were part of a much-larger group who found their way off the track as drivers contended with the slippery track.

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