Chaz Mostert pushes hard in his Supercheap Auto Racing Ford during practice at Mount Panorama. Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP
Chaz Mostert pushes hard in his Supercheap Auto Racing Ford during practice at Mount Panorama. Picture: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Mostert fastest in final practice before Bathurst shootout

SUPERCARS star Chaz Mostert has fallen just short of the lap record at final practice before Saturday's Bathurst 1000 top-10 qualifying shootout.

The former Bathurst champion clocked two minutes, 03.50 seconds in the 30 minute session - just 0.02 of a second shy of fellow Ford gun Scott McLaughlin's lap record set on Friday.

Mostert shone in overcast conditions to emerge fastest at final practice at Mount Panorama, just 0.19 of a second ahead of series leader and hot favourite McLaughlin.

It ensures McLaughlin will be on edge in the shootout, which determines the top 10 places on the grid for Sunday's Great Race.

"The car kept getting better. I am learning how to get the most out of it," Mostert said.

"I don't want to jinx it, but we are going pretty good at the moment and if we can qualify the car in the first front couple of rows we will try.

"But the guy next door (McLaughlin), he has been the qualifying king this year and to knock him off will be hard."

Defending series champion McLaughlin has set the benchmark this season, taking a 598-point championship lead ahead of the Great Race.

The New Zealander has claimed a record 17 race wins this year and is heavily backed to finally earn a maiden Bathurst 1000 victory on Sunday.

McLaughlin has hit the ground running at Mount Panorama, breaking his own Bathurst lap record twice in the past two days to claim provisional pole ahead of the shootout.

Ford boasted the top three spots at final practice, with Cam Waters third fastest after overcoming electrical dramas in his Mustang over the past two days.

McLaughlin's nearest rival in the championship race, Holden's Shane van Gisbergen was fourth quickest.

Another race favourite Jamie Whincup, who has teamed up with seven-time Bathurst champ Craig Lowndes, was sixth fastest.

The top-10 shootout starts at 5.05pm (AEDT).

News Corp Australia

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