Nissans show form in opening Ipswich practice

Michael Caruso

Michael Caruso

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.


“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


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