Rick Kelly fastest at Sydney Motorsport tyre test
Rick Kelly blitzed the timing screens in the afternoon session to top the Supercars official tyre test at Sydney Motorsport Park.
The Sengled Nissan driver set a new Supercars lap record at the Sydney venue following a run on the new 2017 specification super-soft tyres.
Kelly clocked a 1:28.78s as times tumbled in the final hour of the hit out courtesy of cooler track conditions.
“I don’t think everyone put their best foot forward,” Kelly told Speedcafe.com.
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“We just wanted to see where we are with the new tyre and the car was pretty stable.
“We have had good day. We tuned through a lot of different stuff on the new tyre, so it has been a very productive day.
“The tyres are a fair bit faster but at the end of the day it is a rubber ring that we have four of.
“It is yet to be determined if the shift is going to be as big as anticipated.”
DJR Team Penske was among the teams to benefit from a late burst on the fresh rubber with Scott McLaughlin just 0.012s shy of Kelly, while team-mate Fabian Coulthard was. 0.6s slower in third.
After spending significant time in the garage completing set up changes, Chaz Mostert surged to fourth with the Prodrive ace the final driver to clock a time in the 1:28s bracket.
Reigning champion Shane van Gisbergen lost valuable track time when his brand new Red Bull Holden Racing Team chassis developed a steering vibration.
“We had a few little niggles on the niggles on the #97,” Triple Eight team manager Mark Dutton told Speedcafe.com.
“There was some steering issues and noise in the car which we couldn’t pinpoint so we will try and nut that out.
“We did spend a lot of time on it but if we were at race meeting we would have put the blinkers on.
“It didn’t seem to be a performance thing, it won’t consume us.”
The top 10 was completed by Will Davison (Tekno Autosports), Tim Blanchard (Brad Jones Racing), Lee Holdsworth (Preston Hire Racing), David Reynolds (Erebus Motorsport) and Dale Wood (Erebus Motorsport), who held sway for much of the afternoon running.
The day ended early for Brad Jones Racing’s Nick Percat when an engine issue saw him come to a halt at Turn 2 midway through the afternoon.
The incident brought out the only red flag of the session with the South Australian occupying third spot.
Percat’s team changed the engine as a precaution but he was unable to return to the track.
“There was no warning so I just shut the car off,” Percat told Speedcafe.com.
“There was a lot of smoke so it appears it was an oil pressure issue.
“It was a bit annoying because we had set the fastest first sector.
“It has been challenging day with the UV but I think we were better off than what we looked earlier in the day.”
Result: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Tyre Test, Sydney Motorsport Park
|1||Sengled Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||44||1:28.7751R|
|2||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Falcon FG/X||42||1:28.7875r||00.01|
|3||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||40||1:28.8518||00.07|
|4||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||31||1:28.9328||00.15|
|5||Red Bull Holden Racing Aust||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||33||1:29.0480||00.27|
|6||TEKNO Woodstock Racing||Will Davison||Holden Commodore VF||43||1:29.2191||00.44|
|7||Team CoolDrive||T.Blanchard/M.Jones||Holden Commodore VF||54||1:29.2596||00.48|
|8||Preston Hire Racing||L.Holdsworth/K.Reindler||Holden Commodore VF||64||1:29.3753||00.60|
|9||Erebus Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VF||27||1:29.4487||00.67|
|10||Erebus GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore VF||28||1:29.5171||00.74|
|11||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||45||1:29.5273||00.75|
|12||carsales Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||35||1:29.5816||00.80|
|13||Mobil 1 HSV Racing||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||46||1:29.5817||00.80|
|14||MEGA Racing||Jason Bright||Ford Falcon FG/X||46||1:29.6436||00.86|
|15||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||35||1:29.8112||01.03|
|16||Red Bull Holden Racing Aust||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||49||1:29.8778||01.10|
|17||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||40||1:29.9139||01.13|
|18||Team Harvey Norman||Simona De Silvestro||Nissan Altima||54||1:29.9204||01.14|
|19||Mobil 1 HSV Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore VF||45||1:29.9296||01.15|
|20||Team Clipsal||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||22||1:29.9426||01.16|
|21||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||40||1:30.0321||01.25|
|22||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||40||1:30.8025||02.02|
|23||LD Motorsport||Alex Rullo||Holden Commodore VF||39||1:30.9119||02.13|
|24||TeamVortex||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||41||1:31.1363||02.36|
|25||LD Motorsport||Matthew Chahda||Holden Commodore VF||47||1:31.1405||02.36|
|26||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Moffat||Holden Commodore VF||40||1:31.6116||02.83|