Slade fastest on drying Mount Panorama
Lucky 7 Racing’s Tim Slade has emerged on top after a late flurry of fast times in Practice 1 for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
With the track drying rapidly in the closing minutes, 13 of the top 14 drivers recorded their fastest lap of the session on their final tour.
Slade’s 2:24.23s saw the South Australian just 0.06s clear of Stone Brothers Racing team-mate Shane van Gisbergen, while Jim Beam Racing’s James Moffat was a further 0.32s adrift in third place.
Cameron McConville (Toll Holden Racing Team) and Steven Johnson (Jim Beam Racing) rounded out the top five.
The 29-car field remained on wet tyres throughout the 50 minutes, with the benchmark time slowly being whittled down from the 2:36s bracket as the session progressed.
All teams sent their lead drivers out to complete the opening stanza of the session, which saw Fabian Coulthard (Bundaberg Racing) and Alex Davison (IRWIN Racing) trade the top spot.
Jamie Whincup (TeamVodafone) had also been on the pace early, before handing the wheel to co-driver Andrew Thompson after a wild spin at Murrays Corner.
The Toll HRT employed a similar strategy with car #2, trading Garth Tander for Nick Percat as the halfway mark approached.
Assisted by the improving conditions, Percat soon eclipsed Tander’s best effort before bunkering the factory Commodore in the sand at Hell Corner, bringing out the session’s only red flag.
Several teams took the red flag as an opportunity to install their co-drivers, with Craig Baird, David Russell, Dean Canto, Andrew Jones, Jack Perkins, Nathan Pretty, Cameron Waters and McConville among those to step aboard their respective mounts.
Mark Winterbottom (Orrcon Steel FPR) jumped to the top of the order soon after the green flags flew with 13 minutes to go – his 2:27.16s a testament to the improving conditions.
Moffat, Tander (now back in the Toll HRT entry) and van Gisbergen (who had joined Tony D’Alberto in completing an installation lap only during the opening 20 minutes) all took turns at the top of the sheets in the final 10 minutes, before Slade trumped them all after the chequered flag had fallen.
Practice 2, for co-drivers only, will kick off at 12:55 local time.
See below for the full Practice 1 result
|1||Lucky 7 Racing||Tim Slade||Ford Falcon FG||2:24.2255|
|2||SP Tools Racing||Shane Van Gisbergen||Ford Falcon FG||2:24.2871||0:00.0616|
|3||Jim Beam Racing||James Moffat||Ford Falcon FG||2:24.6076||0:00.3821|
|4||Toll Holden Racing Team||J.Courtney/C.McConville||Holden Commodore VE2||2:25.6022||0:01.3767|
|5||Jim Beam Racing||Steven Johnson||Ford Falcon FG||2:25.6810||0:01.4555|
|6||Triple F Racing||Dean Fiore||Ford Falcon FG||2:25.7477||0:01.5222|
|7||Toll Holden Racing Team||G.Tander/N.Percat||Holden Commodore VE2||2:26.0424||0:01.8169|
|8||Pepsi Max Crew||Greg Murphy||Holden Commodore VE2||2:26.2474||0:02.0219|
|9||Jack Daniel’s Racing||T.Kelly/David Russell||Holden Commodore VE2||2:26.3224||0:02.0969|
|10||Bundaberg Racing||F.Coulthard/C.Baird||Holden Commodore VE2||2:26.7215||0:02.4960|
|11||Wilson Security Team McGrath||Tony D’Alberto||Ford Falcon FG||2:26.8766||0:02.6511|
|12||VIP Petfoods||Steve Owen||Holden Commodore VE2||2:26.9611||0:02.7356|
|13||The Bottle-O Racing Team||P.Dumbrell/D.Canto||Ford Falcon FG||2:27.0211||0:02.7956|
|14||Trading Post FPR Falcon||W.Davison/L.Youlden||Ford Falcon FG||2:27.0880||0:02.8625|
|15||Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG||2:27.1624||0:02.9369|
|16||TeamVodafone||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VE2||2:27.3238||0:03.0983|
|17||Irwin Racing||A.Davison/D.Brabham||Ford Falcon FG||2:27.4422||0:03.2167|
|18||Jack Daniel’s Racing||R.Kelly/O.Kelly||Holden Commodore VE2||2:27.7730||0:03.5475|
|19||Stratco Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VE2||2:27.7730||0:03.5475|
|20||Mother Energy Racing Team||Jonathon Webb||Ford Falcon FG||2:28.1170||0:03.8915|
|21||TeamVodafone||J.Whincup/A.Thompson||Holden Commodore VE2||2:28.2358||0:04.0103|
|22||Team Boc||J.Bright/A.Jones||Holden Commodore VE2||2:28.3051||0:04.0796|
|23||Jana Living Racing||J.Bargwanna/S.Price||Holden Commodore VE2||2:28.5261||0:04.3006|
|24||Supercheap Auto Racing||R.Ingall/J.Perkins||Holden Commodore VE2||2:29.5832||0:05.3577|
|25||Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing||Karl Reindler||Holden Commodore VE2||2:29.6026||0:05.3771|
|26||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VE2||2:30.3259||0:06.1004|
|27||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Michael Caruso||Holden Commodore VE2||2:30.9737||0:06.7482|
|28||Gulf Western Oil Racing||W.Luff/N.Pretty||Holden Commodore VE2||2:31.9251||0:07.6996|
|29||Shannons Mars Racing||G.Denyer/C.Waters||Holden Commodore VE2||2:38.4551||0:14.2296|
See below for Speedcafe.com’s Bathurst Race Guide