McLaughlin and co-driver Alexandre Premat could manage no better than the seventh fastest time among the combined results for Friday's three practice sessions.
Their best of 1:10.3008s was set by McLaughlin in the third and final session of the day, after Premat had mustered a 1:11.1389s during the co-driver only second practice session.
Cam Waters set the day's benchmark time at 1:09.9534s in Practice 3, an effort which proved more than three tenths faster than McLaughlin's best.
However, despite ending the day further down the totem pole than he's become accustomed, McLaughlin is satisfied his car has the pace to run with those at the front.
“It's just me trying too hard. The car's really good like really happy with it but just need to tone my driving down a little bit.
“I just didn't get the lap together,” he added.
“I think we actually did a way faster lap before that. I think we're right there which is the main thing.
“This track's so unique if you can take more kerb the faster you're going to go around it.
“My car can take it, which is nice, I just got to look at the old driver and we'll be fine.”
Saturday's running sees teams immediately thrust into qualifying for Race 26 0940 local time/1040 AEDT, followed by the Armor All Top 10 Shootout at 1130.