Tander tops opening Supercars practice on home soil

Tom Howard

Friday 5th May, 2017 - 3:16pm

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Garth Tander

Local hero Garth Tander emerged fastest in opening practice for the Perth Super Sprint at Barbagallo Raceway.

The Garry Rogers Motorsport driver made the most of a late run to move to the top of the timesheets with a minute remaining.

Tander clocked a 55.64s on the super soft tyres to edge Red Bull HRT’s Jamie Whincup by 0.04s.

The six-time champion had topped the 45 minute session heading into the final moments.

“I sort of had a feeling our car would be better here than it was at Phillip Island,” said Tander.

“It was a really productive session, it is hard to know where you are in the middle of the session because the tyre falls away so quickly, and then you put on a fresh tyre at the end and it is like you have won lotto.

“I don’t think the lap was particularly great but we found out a few other guys ran greens so that is encouraging.

“It is only practice one, considering where we have been and where are up to, that’s not too bad.”

Garry Rogers Motorsport backed up its pace with the sister entry of James Moffat climbing to third.

Mobil 1 HSV Racing’s James Courtney was among a group of drivers to improve late in the running as he slotted into fourth.

Rick Kelly proved the top Nissan runner in fifth having enjoyed a spell at the top of the times earlier in the hit-out.

Running in front of team Penske boss Roger Penske, Fabian Coulthard had set the pace at the halfway point in the #12 DJR Team Penske Ford before slipping down to sixth at the chequered flag.

His team-mate Scott McLaughlin struggled to match the pace with the Kiwi ending up 20th in the results.

The #17 Ford found found himself caught up in traffic in the closing stages that saw him cop a hit to the rear of his car from Nick Percat.

“I think Nick (Percat) and Scott Pye have got some sort of issue but I was on a race run and in practice obviously you just try and do your own session,” said McLaughlin.

“I was trying to do my best not to stuff too many people up but I also want to get a good program for myself.”

Dale Wood continued Erebus Motorsport’s strong recent showing in seventh ahead of Craig Lowndes and team-mate David Reynolds, who endured a small run off at the final corner early in the outing.

The top 10 was completed by Brad Jones Racing’s Tim Slade ahead of reigning champion Shane van Gisbergen and Will Davison.

Prodrive could only manage 15th, 16th, 19th and 21st for Mark Winterbottom, Chaz Mostert, Cameron Waters and Jason Bright respectively.

Supercars debutant Matthew Brabham impressed on his maiden outing in a V8 Supercar as he ended the session in 25th, just 1.8s adrift of the pace.

Brabham clocked the most mileage with 32 laps in the books as he acclimatises to the #3 Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport entry.

“It was awesome, it is a great car, I obviously had no idea what to expect, having never driven one before so it was just a matter of getting some laps under my belt, feeling comfortable and building up speed,” said Brabham.

“It felt all right, I have no idea of where I need to improve on, obviously I am pretty much in the dark, but it felt good.

“I think just getting comfortable. Obviously a lot of guys when they jump in they have testing or development series to get them into the car and I have gone in cold turkey.”

Pirtek Enduro Cup co-drivers Dean Fiore and Karl Reindler both clocked laps in the #23 Nissan and the #18 Preston Hire Racing Commodore.

The Supercars will return to the track for another 45 minute practice session scheduled for 1435 local time.

Result: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Perth Super Sprint Practice 1 

1 Wilson Security Racing GRM Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 55.6459
2 Red Bull Holden Racing Aust Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 55.6940 00.0481
3 Wilson Security Racing GRM James Moffat Holden Commodore VF 55.8176 00.1717
4 Mobil 1 HSV Racing James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 55.8361 00.1902
5 Sengled Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 55.8775 00.2316
6 Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG/X 55.9082 00.2623
7 Erebus GB Galvanizing Racing Dale Wood Holden Commodore VF 56.0063 00.3604
8 TeamVortex Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 56.0391 00.3932
9 Erebus Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore VF 56.1177 00.4718
10 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 56.1697 00.5238
11 Red Bull Holden Racing Aust Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 56.3042 00.6583
12 TEKNO Woodstock Racing Will Davison Holden Commodore VF 56.4748 00.8289
13 BIANTE 1:1 Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 56.5395 00.8936
14 carsales Racing Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 56.5432 00.8973
15 The Bottle-O Racing Team Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 56.5749 00.9290
16 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 56.6267 00.9808
17 Team CoolDrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VF 56.6466 01.0007
18 Mobil 1 HSV Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore VF 56.6727 01.0268
19 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 56.7918 01.1459
20 Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Falcon FG/X 56.8673 01.2214
21 MEGA Racing Jason Bright Ford Falcon FG/X 56.8836 01.2377
22 Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Alex Rullo Holden Commodore VF 56.9392 01.2933
23 Nissan Motorsport M.Caruso/D.Fiore Nissan Altima 57.0605 01.4146
24 Preston Hire Racing L.Holdsworth/K.Reindler Holden Commodore VF 57.2435 01.5976
25 Repair Management Aust Racing Matthew Brabham Holden Commodore VF 57.4584 01.8125
26 Team Harvey Norman Simona De Silvestro Nissan Altima 57.6403 01.9944