Tony D’Alberto tops opening session in Sydney heat

Team Hiflex driver Tony D'Alberto

Team Hiflex driver Tony D’Alberto

Tony D’Alberto has emerged fastest from the first of four V8 Supercars practice sessions on a scorching day at Sydney Olympic Park.

The Hiflex Falcon shared the top spot with the VIP Petfoods Ford of Steve Owen for much of the session.

D’Alberto eventually emerged quickest by 0.4s after clocking a 1:30.04s time on the first lap of his third and final run.

Filling third through 10th in the session, held for the bottom 50 percent of the championship runners only, were Michael Caruso Taz Douglas, Jason Bright, James Moffat, David Wall, Steven Johnson, Dean Fiore and Greg Murphy.

Temperatures at Sydney Oympic Park soared into the 30s during Practice 1, with some parts of Sydney expected to reach 40 degrees later today.

The 30 minutes session was interrupted by a single red flag period, called to retrieve Tim Blanchard’s Jack Daniel’s Racing Holden after its engine cut out at the exit of Turn 7.

It was also less than an ideal first hit-out for stable-mate Greg Murphy, who parked his car after just four laps complaining of a major imbalance.

The field spent much of the early running undertaking routine radio checks around the circuit, which is notorious for communication difficulties.

The kerb-hopping sensors in the Turn 2/3 and 6/7 chicanes were also given a workout as the majority of drivers had at least one of their times nullified for kerb offenses.

Moffat survived a late moment at the latter chicane, running his Norton DJR  Ford over the end of the Turn 7 apex tyre bundle before narrowly missing the exit wall. The car appeared undamaged but was pitted immediately as a precaution.

The V8 Supercars will return to the track at 1120 local time for a second bottom 50 percent practice session.

Result: V8 Supercars Practice 1, Sydney Olympic Park

1 Team Hiflex Tony D’Alberto Ford Falcon FG 1:30.0352
2 VIP Petfoods Steve Owen Ford Falcon FG 1:30.4364 0:00.4012
3 Fujitsu Racing GRM Michael Caruso Holden Commodore VE2 1:30.6729 0:00.6377
4 Team iSelect Taz Douglas Holden Commodore VE2 1:30.7069 0:00.6717
5 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VE2 1:30.7530 0:00.7178
6 Team Norton DJR James Moffat Ford Falcon FG 1:31.2021 0:01.1669
7 Wilson Security Racing David Wall Holden Commodore VE2 1:31.3159 0:01.2807
8 Jim Beam Racing Steven Johnson Ford Falcon FG 1:31.3352 0:01.3000
9 Jim Beam Racing Dean Fiore Ford Falcon FG 1:32.0167 0:01.9815
10 Pepsi Max Crew Greg Murphy Holden Commodore VE2 1:32.5441 0:02.5089
11 Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing Karl Reindler Holden Commodore VE2 1:32.9850 0:02.9498
12 Fujitsu Racing GRM Alexandre Premat Holden Commodore VE2 1:33.3791 0:03.3439
13 Jack Daniel’s Racing Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VE2 1:34.5005 0:04.4653
14 Tekno Autosports Michael Patrizi Holden Commodore VE2 2:06.1572 0:36.1220

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