Mark Winterbottom fastest in opening Symmons practice

Mark Winterbottom's Pepsi Max Crew FPR Falcon

Mark Winterbottom’s Pepsi Max Crew FPR Falcon

Ford Performance Racing’s Mark Winterbottom has shown the way in the first of three V8 Supercars practice sessions for the day at Symmons Plains.

Finding himself in the bottom 50 percent of the championship due to a gearbox failure in the opening race of the season in Adelaide, Winterbottom set his best time of 52.41s at the 22 minute mark of the half hour, 16 car, session.

The time eclipsed the best effort of Garth Tander by by 0.09s. The Holden Racing Team driver had held sway at the top of the sheets for much of the going.

Brad Jones Racing team-mates Fabian Coulthard and Jason Bright subsequently split the factory pilots by jumping to second and third respectively inside the final minute.

Bright had earlier complained of braking inconsistency with his Team BOC Holden, and was one of several to run off at the Turn 4 hairpin.

Alex Davison, Scott McLaughlin, David Reynolds, Scott Pye, Dean Fiore and Todd Kelly completed the top 10.

Michael Caruso spins his Nissan at Turn 4

Michael Caruso spins his Nissan at Turn 4

As expected, teams punctuated their track running with long stints in the garage for set-up changes. The top four drivers each completed between 19 and 21 laps of the sub 60 second venue over the 30 minutes.

The driver who spent the most time in pitlane was Lee Holdsworth, who pulled his Erebus Mercedes into its garage after just three laps with an electrical problem. The car did not return to the track prior to the chequered flag.

There was minor drama too for Dean Fiore, who had the rear windscreen of his Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Holden blow out on the back straight. The perspex came to rest safely on the infield.

UPDATE: All teams will be required to screw in their rear screens, rather than just use the bonding agent, this weekend following the Fiore incident.

The first full-field session of the weekend will kick-off at 1215 local time, with a third and final practice of the day scheduled for 1330.

See below for the Practice 1 result

1 Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG 0:52.4095
2 Lockwood Racing Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VF 0:52.4201 0:00.0106
3 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 0:52.4667 0:00.0572
4 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 0:52.4989 0:00.0894
5 Jeld-wen FPR Ford Alex Davison Ford Falcon FG 0:52.5531 0:00.1436
6 Fujitsu Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Holden Commodore VF 0:52.5978 0:00.1883
7 The Bottle-O FPR Ford David Reynolds Ford Falcon FG 0:52.6776 0:00.2681
8 ekol Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore VF 0:52.6892 0:00.2797
9 Dodo Insurance Racing Dean Fiore Holden Commodore VF 0:52.7735 0:00.3640
10 Jack Daniel’s Racing Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 0:52.7944 0:00.3849
11 SP Tools Racing Maro Engel Mercedes E63 AMG 0:53.0218 0:00.6123
12 Norton 360 Racing Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 0:53.0614 0:00.6519
13 Heavy Haulage Racing Tim Slade Mercedes E63 AMG 0:53.2339 0:00.8244
14 Wilson Security Racing Jonny Reid Ford Falcon FG 0:53.2929 0:00.8834
15 Wilson Security Racing Tim Blanchard Ford Falcon FG 0:53.3002 0:00.8907
16 Irwin Racing Lee Holdsworth Mercedes E63 AMG 0:54.2112 0:01.8017

See below for Speedcafe.com’s event preview video from Symmons Plains

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