Nissans show form in opening Ipswich practice
Michael Caruso set the pace in a promising opening practice session for Nissan Motorsport at the Coates Hire Ipswich Super Sprint.
The Hidden Valley race winner sat atop the order for the bulk of the 60 minutes, becoming the first driver into the 1:10s bracket just prior to halfway.
Todd Kelly then usurped his team-mate with 17 minutes remaining, before Caruso moved back to the top just under two minutes from the flag.
“It’s not a bad way to start but obviously it’s a long way away from when it counts,” said Caruso, whose car is running in GT Academy colours this weekend.
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“We’ll just go over what we’ve done and hopefully we get it right.”
The timesheet was turned on its head in the final minutes as many elected to run a second set of tyres.
Scott Pye shot to second for DJR Team Penske, falling just 0.06s short of Caruso as he bumped Kelly to third.
Brad Jones Racing’s Jason Bright and Tim Slade moved to fourth and fifth respectively ahead of Mark Winterbottom, Chris Pither, Rick Kelly and Chaz Mostert.
Andre Heimgartner was second with 10 minutes on the clock before being demoted to an eventual 11th.
James Courtney sat in the top five for the majority of the hour before falling to 16th, one place ahead of team-mate Garth Tander.
Jamie Whincup had a quiet run to 18th as his crew worked on race set-ups, while team-mate Craig Lowndes finished 22nd after a session that included a high-speed off at Turn 1.
Craig Baird ended up last ahead of his first solo event start in a decade, 1.3s from the pace aboard Erebus’ Hungry Jack’s Holden.
Team 18’s Kurt Kostecki was one place higher in 25th after sharing the driving with experienced co-driver Karl Reindler.
A second 60 minute session will complete the day’s Supercars action.
Result: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Coates Hire Ipswich Super Sprint Practice 1
|1||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||1:10.3330*S|
|2||DJR Team Penske||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:10.3940 S||00.0610|
|3||carsales Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:10.4439 S||00.1109|
|4||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.4677 S||00.1347|
|5||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.4698 S||00.1368|
|6||Red Bull Racing Australia||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.4713 S||00.1383|
|7||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:10.4721 S||00.1391|
|8||Super Black Racing||Chris Pither||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:10.5217 S||00.1887|
|9||Sengled Motorsport||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:10.5982 S||00.2652|
|10||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:10.6174 S||00.2844|
|11||LD Motorsport||Andre Heimgartner||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.6351 S||00.3021|
|12||DJR Team Penske||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:10.6481 S||00.3151|
|13||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:10.6737 S||00.3407|
|14||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||1:10.6948 S||00.3618|
|15||LD Motorsport||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.7723 S||00.4393|
|16||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.7741 S||00.4411|
|17||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.8221 S||00.4891|
|18||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.9453 S||00.6123|
|19||Team Darrell Lea STIX||Will Davison||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.9754 S||00.6424|
|20||GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Nissan Altima||1:10.9762 S||00.6432|
|21||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Moffat||Volvo S60||1:11.0780 S||00.7450|
|22||TeamVortex||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||1:11.0890 S||00.7560|
|23||Erebus Motorsport Penrite||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VF||1:11.2202 S||00.8872|
|24||Team Cooldrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||1:11.2921 S||00.9591|
|25||Preston Hire Racing||K.Kostecki/K.Reindler||Holden Commodore VF||1:11.5277 S||01.1947|
|26||Erebus Motorsport Hungry Jacks||Craig Baird||Holden Commodore VF||1:11.6772 S||01.3442|