Waters leads the way in rapid Practice 2 at Pukekohe

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Cameron Waters – pic: Prodrive Racing Twitter

Cameron Waters has blitzed to the top of the time sheets in the final Practice session for the ITM Auckland SuperSprint at Pukekohe.

The #6 Monster Energy/Prodrive Ford Falcon shot to the top on its final lap to finish fastest with a 1:02.562, ahead of Jamie Whincup in the #88 Red Bull Holden and Mark Winterbottom in third.

“We weren’t too fazed after Practice 1, we knew we had a few problems,” said Waters.

“It was all just a matter of tuning it up. We did that and the car is mint now, so I’m pretty happy.”

Winterbottom in the #5 Bottle-O Racing Falcon lead the way early on with a 1:03.456, from the Mobil 1 HSV Racing Holden of Scott Pye in second, until Nick Percat piped them both to go fastest and 0.02s quicker.

The Brad Jones Racing driver then got topped by stable-mate Tim Slade, who set a 1:03.376 to take him to the top with 30-minutes remaining.

Percat moved within 0.05s of Slade’s time, only to be bettered by Garth Tander in the #33 Gary Roger Motorsport Commodore who put himself second on a 1:03.419.

Times started to tumble in the final 15-minutes of the hit out as teams bolted fresh rubber on their cars, with Rick Kelly immediately going to the top in the #15 Nissan Altima.

Scott McLaughlin eclipsed that time, but Kelly improved on his next lap to close the gap down to 0.097s before Waters became the first man to dip into the 1min 2s on a 1:02.957.

The Supercheap Auto Prodrive Falcon of Chaz Mostert went to the top momentarily until McLaughlin once again improved on a 1:02.736.

In the dying minutes of the session, Waters and Winterbottom topped the Shell V-Power Ford’s time before Whincup split them at the chequered flag.

McLaughlin got knocked down to fourth, only 0.1s off Waters’ lap, while Mostert ended up fifth fastest.

Shane van Gisbergen had a quite session in sixth, from Slade in seventh and the #9 Erebus Commodore of David Reynolds, eighth.

Craig Lowndes finished up in ninth, while Lee Holdsworth rounded out the top ten for Preston Hire Racing.

Kelly got whittled down to 12th fastest, two positions ahead of Fabian Coulthard, who finished 14th in the #12 Shell V-Power Racing Ford.

Supercars hit the track on Saturday for Qualifying at 12:25 NZDT ahead of Race 23 of the championship later in the afternoon.