Whincup fastest in opening Symmons practice

Jamie Whincup

Jamie Whincup returned to the top of the time sheets in the opening practice session at the Tyrepower Tasmania Super Sprint.

Scott McLaughlin

The Red Bull HRT driver saved his best for the final minutes of the session as the six-time champion made the most of a set of brand new super-soft tyres.

Whincup posted a time under his own 2014 qualifying and practice lap record with a 50.94s.

His effort surpassed the two DJR Team Penske Ford Falcons which had sat atop of the times heading into the final moments the 45 minute session.

Scott McLaughlin ended the running in second just 0.14s adrift of Whincup.

Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen was third in the sister Red Bull HRT Commodore, which ran red numbers as Supercars continued its trial to better identify the championship leader to fans.

The Kiwi was involved in an entertaining scrap with Fabian Coulthard, who had enjoyed a spell at the top of the times.

Coulthard ended the session in fifth behind Mobil 1 HSV Racing’s Scott Pye who was among those to improve late in the running.

SVG trialled red numbers on his Commodore

The top 10 was completed by Chaz Mostert (Prodrive), Will Davison (Tekno Autosports), Lee Holdsworth (Preston Hire Racing), Mark Winterbottom (Prodrive) and Tim Slade (Brad Jones Racing).

Slade was one of four drivers to endure off track excursions having run wide at Turn 1.

He was mirrored by team-mates Nick Percat and Tim Blanchard, who both had moments at the same corner.

Percat caused the only red flag of the session when he locked up and ran deep into the gravel trap at the Turn 4 hairpin with 17 minutes remaining.

The South Australian’s rebuilt Commodore, following the brake failure at Albert Park, was retrieved and he returned to the action later on.

“I’m battling with a bit of front locking,” said Percat.

Nick Percat was beached in the gavel trap

“The brakes are working exceptionally well this weekend compared to the last time I drove it.”

Erebus Motorsport’s Dale Wood was the other driver to run off the road when he ran wide at Turn 4.

Triple Eight’s Craig Lowndes could only managed a time good enough for P22 after suffering a power steering leak which saw him return to the garage for much of Practice.

“We want to make sure we get out this afternoon and have a good strong run, so we opted to stop early, get it fixed and obviously get out this afternoon,” said Lowndes.

“It’s a bit of a shame. The car is actually working very well, we’d made some good progress and just put on some new tyres to do a simulation of where we could have been.”

There was a late moment between James Courtney and James Moffat which resulted in the former gesticulating to the GRM driver.

Courtney locked a brake on his Mobil 1 HSV Racing Commodore and ran by Moffat at Turn 4.

“I was waving to Moff,” exclaimed Courtney following the incident.

“I locked up massively into the hairpin as I went past him and it wasn’t a bad sign – I was trying to be funny.

“For us, my own fault, I flatspotted a tyre massively at the GP on our super soft set so I had to run hards all this session, so just trying to hunt that balance.”

The field will return for another 45 minute practice session at 1500 local time.

Result: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Tyrepower Tasmania Super Sprint Practice 1

1 Red Bull Holden Racing Aust Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 0:50.9455RSS
2 Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Falcon FG/X 0:51.0883 SS 00.1428
3 Red Bull Holden Racing Aust Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 0:51.2017 SS 00.2562
4 Mobil 1 HSV Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore VF 0:51.3238 SS 00.3783
5 Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG/X 0:51.3901 SS 00.4446
6 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 0:51.4040 SS 00.4585
7 TEKNO Woodstock Racing Will Davison Holden Commodore VF 0:51.5085 SS 00.5630
8 Preston Hire Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VF 0:51.5152 SS 00.5697
9 The Bottle-O Racing Team Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 0:51.5475 SS 00.6020
10 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 0:51.6596 SS 00.7141
11 BIANTE 1:1 Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 0:51.6663 SS 00.7208
12 MEGA Racing Jason Bright Ford Falcon FG/X 0:51.7188 SS 00.7733
13 Wilson Security Racing GRM James Moffat Holden Commodore VF 0:51.7361 SS 00.7906
14 carsales Racing Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 0:51.7816 SS 00.8361
15 Erebus GB Galvanizing Racing Dale Wood Holden Commodore VF 0:51.7894 SS 00.8439
16 Sengled Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 0:51.7901 SS 00.8446
17 Wilson Security Racing GRM Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 0:51.8200 SS 00.8745
18 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 0:51.8973 SS 00.9518
19 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 0:51.9558 SS 01.0103
20 Erebus Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore VF 0:52.1246 SS 01.1791
21 Mobil 1 HSV Racing James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 0:52.2804 S 01.3349
22 TeamVortex Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 0:52.2866 S 01.3411
23 Repair Management Aust Racing Taz Douglas Holden Commodore VF 0:52.3298 SS 01.3843
24 Team Harvey Norman Simona De Silvestro Nissan Altima 0:52.5368 SS 01.5913
25 Repair Management Aust Racing Alex Rullo Holden Commodore VF 0:52.8862 S 01.9407
26 Team CoolDrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VF 0:53.0955 S 02.1500

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