Rick Kelly fastest at Sydney Motorsport tyre test

Rick Kelly

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.


“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

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