Whincup fastest in opening Clipsal practice

Whincup leaps over the turn one kerb on his way to a penalty – then the fastest lap!

Whincup leaps over the turn one kerb on his way to a penalty – then the fastest lap!

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

1 1 Jamie Whincup 1:21.3729
2 9 Shane Van Gisbergen 1:21.5271
3 55 Paul Dumbrell 1:21.7511
4 8 Jason Richards 1:21.8410
5 888 Craig Lowndes 1:21.8708
6 2 Garth Tander 1:21.9576
7 24 Fabian Coulthard 1:21.9641
8 6 Steven Richards 1:22.1188
9 3 Tony D’Alberto 1:22.1237
10 47 Tim Slade 1:22.1515
11 19 Jonathon Webb 1:22.2493
12 4 Alex Davison 1:22.2944
13 17 Steven Johnson 1:22.3418
14 5 Mark Winterbottom 1:22.3916
15 7 Todd Kelly 1:22.4551
16 33 Lee Holdsworth 1:22.4576
17 15 Rick Kelly 1:22.4610
18 34 Michael Caruso 1:22.4782
19 14 Jason Bright 1:22.5589
20 18 James Courtney 1:22.5830
21 22 Will Davison 1:22.6640
22 21 Karl Reindler 1:22.7260
23 12 Dean Fiore 1:22.7657
24 39 Russell Ingall 1:22.7983
25 11 Jason Bargwanna 1:22.8994
26 51 Greg Murphy 1:23.2075
27 10 Andrew Thompson 1:23.4533
28 16 Tony Ricciardello 1:23.8941
29 30 Daniel Gaunt 1:23.9798

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