Moffat tops tight opening Symmons practice

James Moffat

James Moffat

James Moffat edged Jamie Whincup to the top spot in a frantic end to opening practice at the Tyrepower Tasmania Super Sprint.

The Volvo driver jumped from 23rd to first with his penultimate lap of the session, recording a 51.89s to eclipse Whincup’s previous benchmark by 0.05s.

Less than 0.2s covered the top 10 cars at the end of the 60 minutes around the short 2.41km layout.

The peformance was highly encouarging for Moffat, who struggled to come to grips with his Volvo at Adelaide and Albert Park.

“It’s only Friday so I won’t get carried away, but it’s much better to be up that end of the time sheet,” he smiled.

“It was a good solid session and we got through quite a few changes.

“The encouraging thing was that every time we changed something it made it better.

“It felt like the track came on as well, which I’ve never really experienced here before.”

The session took place in cool and windy conditions, with showers predicted for later in the day.

Whincup and team-mates Craig Lowndes and Shane van Gisbergen spent the early running trading the quickest time in an ominous sign for Triple Eight’s rivals.

Mark Winterbottom bumped Whincup from the top at the halfway mark, only to in turn be eclipsed by Lowndes just minutes later.

The Prodrive Falcon returned to P1 with nine minutes to go, kicking off a rapid-fire finish that saw Lee Holdsworth, Whincup and eventually Moffat shoot to the top.

Whincup spent the final minutes in the garage and is confident of finding further speed ahead of the day’s second session.

“We’ll work our way through, see where the other guys (team-mates) have gained, they’ll see where I’ve gained and move forward,” he said.

The six-time champion also noted that recent track works, which has included a refurbishment of all gravel traps, had an impact on grip levels.

“The side affect of the recent works is some loose dirt which has blown across the track, but I’m certainly not going to complain about that,” he said.

“They’ve improved the safety dramatically, which is the main thing.”

Lowndes ended up third at the chequered flag ahead of Tim Slade, Will Davison, James Courtney, Jason Bright, Winterbottom, Holdsworth, Cameron Waters and Van Gisbergen.

Garth Tander was one place further back in 12th after being baulked by Fabian Coulthard while on a hot lap in the dying stages.

Although only soft tyres will be used in the races this weekend, many spent time on the hards in Practice 1 as they make the best of thin tyre banks.

Both DJR Team Penske Fords ran almost the entire session on hards, leaving Coulthard and Scott Pye down the order.

Practice 1 ran green for its duration, with an early off track excursion for a crossed-up Lowndes at Turn 1 proving the wildest moment.

The day’s second V8 Supercars practice session will get underway from 1345 local time.

Result: V8 Supercars Tyrepower Tasmania Super Sprint Practice 1

1 Wilson Security Racing GRM James Moffat Volvo S60 0:51.8869*S
2 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 0:51.9364 S 00.0495
3 TeamVortex Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 0:51.9428 S 00.0559
4 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 0:51.9559 S 00.0690
5 Team Darrell Lea STIX Will Davison Holden Commodore VF 0:51.9802 S 00.0933
6 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 0:51.9884 S 00.1015
7 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 0:52.0087 S 00.1218
8 The Bottle-O Racing Team Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 0:52.0276 S 00.1407
9 Preston Hire Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VF 0:52.0470 S 00.1601
10 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 0:52.0708 S 00.1839
11 Red Bull Racing Australia Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 0:52.0726 S 00.1857
12 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 0:52.1344 S 00.2475
13 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 0:52.1726 S 00.2857
14 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 0:52.1890 S 00.3021
15 Wilson Security Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 0:52.2145 S 00.3276
16 ARBO/Repair Management Aust Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 0:52.2324 S 00.3455
17 Team Cooldrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VF 0:52.2473 S 00.3604
18 DJR Team Penske Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG/X 0:52.2536 S 00.3667
19 Sengled Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 0:52.3036 S 00.4167
20 carsales Racing Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 0:52.3638 S 00.4769
21 Erebus Motorsport Penrite David Reynolds Holden Commodore VF 0:52.3773 S 00.4904
22 DJR Team Penske Scott Pye Ford Falcon FG/X 0:52.4294 H 00.5425
23 Team GB Galvanizing Dale Wood Nissan Altima 0:52.4686 S 00.5817
24 Super Black Racing Chris Pither Ford Falcon FG/X 0:52.5870 S 00.7001
25 Plus Fitness Racing Aaren Russell Holden Commodore VF 0:52.8122 S 00.9253
26 ABRO/Repair Management Aust Racing Andre Heimgartner Holden Commodore VF 0:53.0886 H 01.2017

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