Mostert sets hot pace in opening practice

Chaz Mostert

Chaz Mostert

Chaz Mostert put his Prodrive Ford a full second quicker than his nearest rival in opening practice for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

Run in cool and sunny conditions, Mostert and team-mate David Reynolds traded the top spot for much of the 45 minutes.

While Reynolds pitted for co-driver Dean Canto in the closing stages, Mostert went out for a last run, clocking an impressive 2:06.3s best.

The time was 1.7s quicker than Mostert recorded to top opening practice on the mountain last year.

“I felt really comfortable out there then, it felt fast across the top,” he smiled post-session.

“Last year here we were all nervous when we rolled out and none of the drivers wanted to get back in. This year the set-up we’ve rolled out with is really close.”

The Reynolds/Canto Ford remained second fastest at the flag ahead of Shane van Gisbergen, who improved to 2:07.41s in the final seconds.

Nissan’s effort showed promising signs throughout, with brothers Rick and Todd Kelly swapping the top spot early.

James Moffat ended up as the quickest of the Altimas in fourth, with Todd and Rick Kelly sixth and eighth respectively.

Others showing early pace were Scott McLaughlin’s Volvo (fifth) and Fabian Coulthard’s Holden (seventh).

The session saw two early red flags caused by offs from Garth Tander and Tim Blanchard at Hell Corner.

Tander spun harmlessly into the gravel during the opening 10 minutes, while Blanchard damaged the right-front of his Holden against the right-side concrete with an off of his own following the restart.

Those to rejoin unscathed from hairy moments included Craig Lowndes, who was lucky not to be collected by Tim Slade when he looped his Red Bull Holden at The Chase.

While Mostert’s overall lap time was surprisingly fast, the driver reported that he did not break the 300km/h on Conrod.

“I think you’ll see the speed difference more in slip streams and stuff like that. I didn’t really get any tows out there then to see if I could crack the 300km/h mark,” said Mostert.

“I’m sure it’ll happen at some time over the weekend, provided we get good wind conditions as well.

“The ratio feels a bit different in different places, it’s a little bit boggier in some corners but I think overall it’s not a big change.”

Dean Canto, Alex Premat, Steve Owen, Marcos Ambrose and Sebastien Bourdais were the only part-timers to cut laps, with the day’s second session dedicated to the co-drivers.

Both wildcards enjoyed clean opening sessions with Aaren Russell and Simona de Silvestro ending up 24th and 27th respectively.

De Silvestro ended up 5.3s from the pace, describing the circuit as “crazy”.

“The first time you get on the hill you are like ‘oh my god it really goes down there’,” she beamed.

“For me everything is so new. I think it was ok but now I will look at the data and get quicker. I’m really happy with the first session.”

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Result: V8 Supercars Practice 1, Mount Panorama 

1 Pepsi Max Crew Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 2:06.3223
2 The Bottle-O Racing Team D.Reynolds/D.Canto Ford Falcon FG/X 2:07.3729 01.0506
3 Team Darrell Lea STIX Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 2:07.4141 01.0918
4 Nissan Motorsport James Moffat Nissan Altima 2:07.5624 01.2401
5 Wilson Security Racing GRM S.McLaughlin/A.Premat Volvo S60 2:07.5947 01.2724
6 Nissan Motorsport Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 2:07.6196 01.2973
7 Freightliner Racing Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VF 2:07.6939 01.3716
8 Nissan Motorsport Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 2:07.6988 01.3765
9 Red Bull Racing Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 2:07.8596 01.5373
10 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 2:07.8617 01.5394
11 Wilson Security Racing GRM David Wall Volvo S60 2:07.9647 01.6424
12 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 2:08.0054 01.6831
13 Erebus Motorsport V8 Will Davison Mercedes E63 AMG 2:08.1523 01.8300
14 GB Galvanizing Racing Dale Wood Holden Commodore VF 2:08.1798 01.8575
15 Pepsi Max Crew M.Winterbottom/S.Owen Ford Falcon FG/X 2:08.1979 01.8756
16 DJR Team Penske S.Pye/M.Ambrose Ford Falcon FG/X 2:08.2223 01.9000
17 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 2:08.3248 02.0025
18 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 2:08.3803 02.0580
19 Walkinshaw Racing L.Holdsworth/S.Bourdais Holden Commodore VF 2:08.3959 02.0736
20 Super Black Racing Andre Heimgartner Ford Falcon FG/X 2:08.6369 02.3146
21 Holden Racing Team Jack Perkins Holden Commodore VF 2:08.6417 02.3194
22 Repair Management Aust Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 2:08.7714 02.4491
23 Erebus Motorsport V8 Ashley Walsh Mercedes E63 AMG 2:08.8098 02.4875
24 Supercheap Auto Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 2:08.8568 02.5345
25 Plus Fitness / Go Karts Go Aaren Russell Holden Commodore VF 2:10.0340 03.7117
26 Team Cooldrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VF 2:10.6790 04.3567
27 Harvey Norman Supergirls Simona De Silvestro Ford Falcon FG/X 2:11.6488 05.3265

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