Testing pauses for practice starts

TeamVodafone at Queensland Raceway

TeamVodafone at Queensland Raceway

The international co-drivers for this weekend’s Armor All Gold Coast 600 have enjoyed two practice starts during today’s pre-event test at Queensland Raceway.

All 28 cars headed to the pitlane at midday, before returning to the track seven at a time – spreading out along the track’s front straight in order to perform two racing-style standing starts.

Mixed results ensued, with Jamie Whincup’s driver Sebastien Bourdais providing the most spectacular getaway as the TeamVodafone Commodore stood stationary with its rear wheels spinning against the line-locker handbrake before disappearing in a cloud of tyre smoke.

As with the L&H 500 at Phillip Island, this weekend’s twin-300km race format is likely to see most co-drivers attempt the starts.

TeamVodafone team principal Adrian Burgess praised V8 Supercars for allowing the international drivers to practice in a low pressure environment.

“It’s important to have all of these guys comfortable with starting the cars before the weekend,” Burgess told Speedcafe.com

“It’s great that V8 Supercars have allowed us to do this in a safe environment.

“Seb didn’t quite get it right on his second run, but his first was fine.

“It’s just about getting them used to the specific systems in the cars, like the clutch, line-locker and electronics, as well as each team’s individual procedures.”

While timing at the circuit is displaying the fastest time for each car rather than driver, the Whincup/Bourdais sat at the top of the sheets as midday struck, with a best time of 1:10.44s.

The Tim Slade/Helio Castroneves Lucky 7 Racing Falcon, Jason Bright/Stephane Sarrazin Team BOC Commodore, Fabian Coulthard/Patrick Long Bundaberg Commodore and Will Davison/Mika Salo Trading Post Racing Falcon rounded out the top five.

The morning included red flag periods to retrieve the Tony D’Alberto/Tonio Liuzzi Wilson Security Racing and Dean Fiore/Gianni Morbidelli Triple F Racing Falcons from the circuit.

CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s earlier story

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