Lowndes fastest in opening V8 Supercars practice
A fast early time from Craig Lowndes was enough to ensure the Red Bull Racing Australia pilot ended the opening V8 Supercars practice session of the weekend at Albert Park atop the order.
Lowndes set the benchmark 1:58.81s on just his second flying lap of the 30 minute hit-out, putting him temporarily 0.7s clear of team-mate Jamie Whincup.
Jason Bright split the Red Bull pair with 10 minutes remaining, before first Dean Fiore and then Scott McLaughlin moved to second in the dying moments.
Bright had lost time early in the session with a flat tyre.
Whincup ended up fifth ahead of Fabian Coulthard, Tony D’Alberto, Mark Winterbottom, James Moffat and Shane van Gisbergen.
All cars ran on their pre-marked hard compound tyres during the session, with the soft rubber not expected to be seen until later in the day.
Practice 1 ran green for its duration despite Scott Pye beaching the #80 Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Holden in the Turn 3 gravel trap at the 22 minute mark.
Lee Holdsworth was also in trouble, with his IRWIN Mercedes-Benz only completing four laps due to mechanical issues.
Lowndes, who leads the V8 Supercars Championship standings after a strong run at the season opening Clipsal 500 Adelaide, said he was encouraged to see himself at the top of the sheet at the end of the session.
“It’s only practice but the car is working well,” he said.
“We made a number of adjustments like everyone but so far I’m comfortable.
“We had to change our springs to suit the conditions. It wasn’t as gripped-up as we thought it’d be but the car is responding well and like everyone else we’re still learning about these new cars.
“We’ve got another practice session this afternoon and hopefully we’ll be on the money for qualifying.”
Practice 2 for the V8 Supercars will kick-off at 1610 local time ahead of qualifying at 1830.
See below for the full Practice 1 result
|1||Red Bull Racing Australia||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||1:58.5837*|
|2||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Holden Commodore VF||1:58.8153||0:00.2316|
|3||Dodo Insurance Racing||Dean Fiore||Holden Commodore VF||1:58.9362||0:00.3525|
|4||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||1:59.1532||0:00.5695|
|5||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||1:59.2645||0:00.6808|
|6||Lockwood Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VF||1:59.2778||0:00.6941|
|7||Team HIFLEX||Tony D’Alberto||Holden Commodore VF||1:59.2809||0:00.6972|
|8||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG||1:59.2852||0:00.7015|
|9||Norton 360 Racing||James Moffat||Nissan Altima||1:59.5118||0:00.9281|
|10||TEKNO Team VIP||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||1:59.6439||0:01.0602|
|11||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Alexandre Premat||Holden Commodore VF||1:59.7229||0:01.1392|
|12||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||Will Davison||Ford Falcon FG||1:59.7589||0:01.1752|
|13||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:59.7893||0:01.2056|
|14||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||2:00.0642||0:01.4805|
|15||Jeld-wen FPR Ford||Alex Davison||Ford Falcon FG||2:00.1445||0:01.5608|
|16||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||2:00.2271||0:01.6434|
|17||Supercheap Auto Racing||Russell Ingall||Holden Commodore VF||2:00.2506||0:01.6669|
|18||Wilson Security Racing||David Wall||Holden Commodore VF||2:00.3461||0:01.7624|
|19||The Bottle-O FPR Ford||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG||2:00.3961||0:01.8124|
|20||Heavy Haulage Australia Racing||Tim Slade||Mercedes E63 AMG||2:00.3962||0:01.8125|
|21||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||2:00.4243||0:01.8406|
|22||Tekno Autosports||Jonathon Webb||Holden Commodore VF||2:00.7200||0:02.1363|
|23||Norton 360 Racing||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||2:00.9663||0:02.3826|
|24||Irwin Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Mercedes E63 AMG||2:01.0846||0:02.5009|
|25||SP Tools Racing||Maro Engel||Mercedes E63 AMG||2:01.2673||0:02.6836|
|26||Wilson Security Racing||Jonny Reid||Ford Falcon FG||2:01.3144||0:02.7307|
|27||Wilson Security Racing||Tim Blanchard||Ford Falcon FG||2:01.4166||0:02.8329|
|28||ekol Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore VF||2:02.1229||0:03.5392|