Reynolds puts Erebus on top in opening practice
A last gasp effort put David Reynolds on top in the opening practice session of the Watpac Townsville 400.
The Erebus Motorsport driver fired in a 1:12.89s lap in the final moments of the 40-minute session at the Reid Park Circuit.
Utilising worn rubber, Reynolds’ late show eclipsed Nissan Motorsport’s Todd Kelly, who led the majority of the hit-out.
“There were no green tyres, we just ran another set of tyres, so I’m not sure what everyone else did down pit lane but it’s only Practice 1,” said Reynolds.
“It’s been really good since we rolled it out. We only did a couple of runs then, I’m still not a hundred percent confident with it.
“My mid-sector through the fast stuff, it’s all over the place, and the way we run our cars now they tend to be a bit worse for the fast left-and-rights in the middle of the track.
“Otherwise it’s been really good, it’s a credit to the team, we didn’t go back to the workshop, we just prepped the cars in Darwin and rolled them out here and it’s been faultless.”
Kelly, also on used tyres, was the first man to post a time inside the 1:12s bracket shortly before the halfway mark in his new look Altima.
“We’re just trying to work out what we did then and how we’re going to do it again, basically,” said Todd Kelly.
“I was quite surprised, the lap felt eight out of 10 and it was fastest for most of the session, and I think a few people put another set of tyres and even greens on, so we’ve got a little bit of stuff to look at and hopefully we can stay at that end.”
Shane van Gisbrgeen was third fastest in the #97 Red Bull Commodore ahead of Triple Eight team-mate Craig Lowndes, who endured an eventful session.
The veteran had been languishing towards the bottom of the times before his squad fitted a second set of tyres.
His time arrived after a wild spin coming out of Turn 6, avoiding contact with the barriers.
“We tried a couple of things, it reacted differently to what I was expecting,” said Lowndes.
“It did catch me out through that fast chicane, but of course we reset, put a second set of tyres on to see where we reset ourselves, we ended up P4 but we’ve still got a bit of work to do.”
Brad Jones racing’s Tim Slade was fifth while Chaz Mostert was the top Prodrive Ford in sixth.
Mostert enjoyed a brief spell at the top of the times earlier in practice.
The top 10 was completed by Garth Tander (Garry Rogers Motorsport), Will Davison (Tekno Autosports), championship leader Fabian Coulthard (DJR Team Penske) and Mobil 1 HSV Racing’s James Courtney.
Jamie Whincup could only manage 12th ahead of Scott McLaughlin (DJRTP), with Mark Winterbottom (Prodrive) down in 15th spot.
Aaren Russell propped up the timesheet as he made his return to Supercars with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport.
The Supercars field will return for a second 40 minute practice session scheduled for 1505 local time.
Results: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship: Watpac Townsville 400: Practice 1
|1||Erebus Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VF||1:12.8920|
|2||carsales Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:12.9887||0:00.0967|
|3||Red Bull Holden Racing Aust||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.0945||0:00.2025|
|4||TeamVortex||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.1401||0:00.2481|
|5||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.1497||0:00.2577|
|6||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:13.1503||0:00.2583|
|7||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.1840||0:00.2920|
|8||TEKNO Woodstock Racing||Will Davison||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.2071||0:00.3151|
|9||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:13.2652||0:00.3732|
|10||Mobil 1 HSV Racing||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.3090||0:00.4170|
|11||Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.3497||0:00.4577|
|12||Red Bull Holden Racing Aust||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.3559||0:00.4639|
|13||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:13.3774||0:00.4854|
|14||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Moffat||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.4108||0:00.5188|
|15||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:13.5015||0:00.6095|
|16||Sengled Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:13.5353||0:00.6433|
|17||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||1:13.5549||0:00.6629|
|18||McHitch Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.5871||0:00.6951|
|19||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:13.7339||0:00.8419|
|20||Erebus GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.7434||0:00.8514|
|21||MEGA Racing||Jason Bright||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:13.7833||0:00.8913|
|22||Mobil 1 HSV Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.9086||0:01.0166|
|23||Team Harvey Norman||Simona De Silvestro||Nissan Altima||1:14.1367||0:01.2447|
|24||Team CoolDrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||1:14.2944||0:01.4024|
|25||Repair Management Aust Racing||Alex Rullo||Holden Commodore VF||1:14.3537||0:01.4617|
|26||Repair Management Aust Racing||Aaren Russell||Holden Commodore VF||1:14.5016||0:01.6096|