IF you’re following the Natsoft live timing feed for the Supercars practice sessions at the Bathurst 1000, you might be scratching your head over the person it lists as being the current lap record holder.
The feed lists Scott McLaughlin as the holder of the fastest Practice/Qualifying Lap Record in Supercars at Mount Panorama with a 2m03.4813s, set last year.
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The #17 Ford Mustang was retrospectively excluded from the Qualifying and the Top 10 Shootout results from the 2019 race following post-event analysis of the engine that was in the car for the start of the weekend.
DJR Team Penske received permission to change the engine in the car after the Top 10 Shootout after seeing abnormally high water pressure.
A post-race inspection by Supercars revealed it exceeded the maximum valve lift in five cylinders – something the team put down to either damage that occurred due to running hot, or improper measurement as it was being assembled.
Although Supercars’ own dyno tests found that the engine produced a legal amount of horsepower in this state, the fact that it was outside the technical specifications listed in the rules resulted in a penalty that, among other things, stripped McLaughlin of his fastest times in the two qualifying sessions and handed the Pole Award – and pole position in the record books – to Chaz Mostert.
But, as of the start of the 2020 race weekend, it is McLaughlin and not Mostert who holds the record for the fastest Supercars lap around Mount Panorama.
The time listed on the Natsoft feeds was recorded in Practice 5, a time that was 0.3s faster than Mostert’s Top 10 Shootout lap, and it is a result that still stands given that McLaughlin was only excluded from Qualifying and the Top 10 Shootout.
Mostert still holds the race lap record – the one that is traditionally considered the ‘official’ lap record as it was set under race conditions – with a 2m04.7602s time set late in the 2019 event.