Wall edges Lowndes in opening Barbagallo practice
A late run on soft tyres has seen David Wall beat Craig Lowndes to the fastest time in opening practice for the V8 Supercars at Barbagallo.
Lowndes had led the way for much of the 60 minute session before Wall shot to the top shortly after the resumption from a late red flag period.
The Volvo driver put down a succession of fast laps over the final five minutes, stopping the clocks with a best of 57.12s to top a V8 Supercars session for the first time in his career.
Barbagallo marks the Sydneysider’s first weekend in the chassis previously campaigned by team-mate Scott McLaughlin, who has in turn moved to a new car.
“We put a set of softs on at the end so we jumped a fair bit but in saying that it was more of a race run rather than the out and out lap time,” said Wall.
“It was good on hards, I think we were about P10 or 11 on hards, so it’s encouraging.”
Lowndes had also set his earlier best of 57.28s on the soft rubber, but was also encouraged by an extended run on the hards.
“We’ve got a reasonably good balance which is a good platform to go forward with,” he said.
“We did a 15 lap run and the car was very consistent, which is what you need around here.”
Drivers and engineers spent the session tuning their cars to the typically slippery track conditions on the unique Barbagallo surface.
“The track is very slippery,” opined Mark Winterbottom, who ended up third fastest in his Ford.
“It’s degraded a lot since last year which is going to make it interesting. It’ll create good racing, but it’s bad from the driver’s seat.”
James Courtney ended up fourth having shared his Holden with Jack Perkins; one of several co-drivers to cut laps.
Scott McLaughlin ended the run fifth in his new Volvo from Todd Kelly in the lead Nissan.
Kelly was among the front-runners for most of the session but is cautious about the team’s chances come qualifying tomorrow.
“We had a good race car here last year; the cars perform well when the grip level is low,” he said.
“So when we’re all out on old tyres it’s good, but the challenge is on the new tyre in qualifying.”
Fabian Coulthard, David Reynolds, Michael Caruso and Jamie Whincup completed the top 10.
The late red flag had been caused by Nick Percat, who had beached his LDM Holden in the Turn 1 gravel.
The front-runners were not immune from off-track excursions during the session, which was peppered by cars spearing off and rejoining.
Those stepping over the grip limit included Whincup (Turn 1), Ash Walsh (Turn 7), Chaz Mostert (Turn 4), Kelly (Turn 7) and McLaughlin (Turn 6).
A second 60 minute session will take place later this afternoon.
PRACTICE 1 – V8 Supercars : Barbagallo Raceway WA
|1||34||David Wall||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Volvo S60||0:57.1202|
|2||888||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing Australia||Holden Commodore VF||0:57.2811||0:00.1609|
|3||5||Mark Winterbottom||Pepsi Max Crew||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:57.4225||0:00.3023|
|4||22||J.Courtney/J.Perkins||Holden Racing Team||Holden Commodore VF||0:57.4750||0:00.3548|
|5||33||Scott McLaughlin||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Volvo S60||0:57.5017||0:00.3815|
|6||7||Todd Kelly||Nissan Motorsport||Nissan Altima||0:57.5650||0:00.4448|
|7||14||Fabian Coulthard||Freightliner Racing||Holden Commodore VF||0:57.5655||0:00.4453|
|8||55||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:57.5869||0:00.4667|
|9||23||M.Caruso/D.Fiore||Nissan Motorsport||Nissan Altima||0:57.6203||0:00.5001|
|10||1||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing Australia||Holden Commodore VF||0:57.6223||0:00.5021|
|11||18||Lee Holdsworth||Walkinshaw Racing||Holden Commodore VF||0:57.6233||0:00.5031|
|12||6||Chaz Mostert||Pepsi Max Crew||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:57.6307||0:00.5105|
|13||300||Tim Slade||Supercheap Auto Racing||Holden Commodore VF||0:57.6449||0:00.5247|
|14||97||Shane van Gisbergen||Team Darrell Lea STIX||Holden Commodore VF||0:57.7090||0:00.5888|
|15||4||A.Walsh/J.Le Brocq||Erebus Motorsport V8||Mercedes E63 AMG||0:57.7589||0:00.6387|
|16||17||Scott Pye||DJR Team Penske||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:57.7596||0:00.6394|
|17||15||Rick Kelly||Nissan Motorsport||Nissan Altima||0:57.7903||0:00.6701|
|18||2||G.Tander/W.Luff||Holden Racing Team||Holden Commodore VF||0:57.7917||0:00.6715|
|19||9||Will Davison||Erebus Motorsport V8||Mercedes E63 AMG||0:57.8028||0:00.6826|
|20||222||Nick Percat||Repair Management Aust Racing||Holden Commodore VF||0:57.8753||0:00.7551|
|21||99||J.Moffat/T.Douglas||Nissan Motorsport||Nissan Altima||0:57.8962||0:00.7760|
|22||111||Andre Heimgartner||Super Black Racing||Ford Falcon FG/X||0:57.9004||0:00.7802|
|23||21||D.Wood/M.Jones||GB Galvanizing Racing||Holden Commodore VF||0:58.1103||0:00.9901|
|24||3||Tim Blanchard||Team Cooldrive||Holden Commodore VF||0:58.3064||0:01.1862|
|25||8||J.Bright/A.Jones||Team BOC||Holden Commodore VF||0:58.3719||0:01.2517|