Lowndes fastest in opening V8 Supercars practice

Craig Lowndes

Craig Lowndes

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

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