Jamie Whincup has set the early benchmark time at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide today.
The TeamVodafone driver and championship leader set a time of 1:21.3729s to end the first day of ‘Australian’ V8 Supercars racing at the top of the sheets.
After winning the first four races of this year’s championship in the Middle East, Whincup was happy – but unconvinced – about his lap.
“I had a really weird session to be honest,” he said.
“It’s so hectic around here, it’s hard to get a clear lap. Coming from the Middle East where the tracks are wide open and smooth, everything here feels so much bumpier, so much rougher. It almost shocks you a little bit.
“We slowly progressed with the car. It started off very tough to drive and had no confidence in it whatsoever, but we made some changes and got it much better.
“I did the best lap I could do in the end, but I’m pretty sure that a lot of people didn’t put tyres on. I think my lap record from last year will be smashed tomorrow.”
SP Tools driver Shane van Gisbergen finished second, ahead of The Bottle O Racing’s Paul Dumbrell, Team BOC’s Jason Racings and Whincup’s team-mate Craig Lowndes.
A number of drivers, including Whincup, were penalised with a 2 minute ‘sin bin’ after cutting the course at the turn two chicane.
With six brand-new sets of tyres available to each entry, there were a number of teams who elected to minimise the usage of their limited stock. Toll Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander, sixth on the list, was the highest placed driver not to use a second set of new rubber.
Qualifying starts tomorrow at 10.30am, followed by the shootout at 11.30am.
Combined V8 Supercars practice results, Clipsal 500, Adelaide
|2||9||Shane Van Gisbergen||1:21.5271|