D’Alberto puts repaired Shell Falcon on top

Tony D’Alberto put the #12 Falcon on top in Practice 3

Tony D’Alberto put the repaired Shell V Power Racing Ford Falcon on top of the times in third practice for the Wilson Security Sandown 500.

The #12 Shell Ford successfully returned to the track after the team completed repairs following Fabian Coulthard’s crash in Practice 2.

D’Alberto mastered the tricky wet conditions that were presented to the co-drivers as rain persisted at the Melbourne circuit.

The conditions provided plenty of wild moments for the field with many running across the grass at Turn 2, the Esses and the final corner.

However, it was D’Alberto who emerged with the benchmark time after posting a 1:20.97s to top the session.

“The car felt pretty good there. We just focused on staying out there and getting a bit of tyre temp, very slippery though, extremely slippery,” said D’Alberto.

“It is good to get accustomed to the track in these conditions as who knows what tomorrow is going to bring.”

“Credit to everyone at Shell V-Power Racing, they turned this car around from my undoing in the practice before so it is a good repayment for the boys,” added Coulthard.

Mobil 1 HSV Racing continued its strong showing in the wet as Warren Luff clocked the second fastest time in the #02 he will share with Scott Pye.

Richard Muscat settled for third in the #34 Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden having topped the session early in the running.

Steve Owen put Chaz Mostert’s Prodrive Falcon in fourth ahead Jack Le Brocq, who was the top Nissan Motorsport runner in fifth.

After replacing the transaxle in the break between sessions, the #22 Mobil 1 HSV Racing Commodore piloted by Jack Perkins was sixth.

Prodrive’s Richie Stanaway was seventh in the #6 Cameron Waters led Monster Energy Falcon.

The top 10 was completed by David Wall (#15 Nissan Motorsport), Alex Premat (#17 Shell V Power Racing) and James Golding (#33 Garry Rogers Motorsport).

Triple Eight were among a handful of entries that struggled for pace during the session.

Paul Dumbrell was the fastest from the Brisbane operation in 14th, Steven Richards (#888 TeamVortex) finished in 20th, while Matt Campbell (#97 Red Bull Holden) was 23rd.

The team elected not to run a full wet set-up on its cars.

“We know we’ve got excellent co-drivers, so when they’re down the bottom clearly the cars aren’t fast,” said Jamie Whincup.

“In saying that, we haven’t got a full wet set-up because the weekend is looking like it will be dry. But we genuinely don’t have any pace, which is a little bit concerning for qualifying tomorrow if the track is wet.”

Mark Winterbottom’s #5 Falcon propped up the times with Dean Canto at the wheel after facing struggles throughout.

The Supercars field return to the track tomorrow for a final 15 minute practice session at 0920 AEST, prior to a 20 minute qualifying session.

Results: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Wilson Security Sandown 500 Practice 3 (Co-drivers)

1 12 Shell V-Power Racing Team Tony D’Alberto Ford Falcon FG/X 1:20.9755
2 02 Mobil 1 HSV Racing Warren Luff Holden Commodore VF 1:21.2611 0.2856
3 34 Wilson Security Racing GRM Richard Muscat Holden Commodore VF 1:21.4888 0.5133
4 55 Supercheap Auto Racing Steve Owen Ford Falcon FG/X 1:21.4908 0.5153
5 7 carsales Racing Jack Le Brocq Nissan Altima 1:21.5225 0.5470
6 22 Mobil 1 HSV Racing Jack Perkins Holden Commodore VF 1:21.5348 0.5593
7 6 Monster Energy Racing Richie Stanaway Ford Falcon FG/X 1:21.5774 0.6019
8 15 Sengled Racing David Wall Nissan Altima 1:21.7712 0.7957
9 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Alexandre Premat Ford Falcon FG/X 1:21.9407 0.9652
10 33 Wilson Security Racing GRM James Golding Holden Commodore VF 1:22.1204 1.1449
11 56 MEGA Racing Garry Jacobson Ford Falcon FG/X 1:22.1443 1.1688
12 8 Mongrel Boots Racing Macauley Jones Holden Commodore VF 1:22.2224 1.2469
13 4 Team CoolDrive Todd Hazelwood Holden Commodore VF 1:22.3272 1.3517
14 88 Red Bull Holden Racing Aust Paul Dumbrell Holden Commodore VF 1:22.4469 1.4714
15 3 Plus Fitness Racing Taz Douglas Holden Commodore VF 1:22.4652 1.4897
16 19 TEKNO Woodstock Racing Jonathon Webb Holden Commodore VF 1:22.4805 1.5050
17 23 Nissan Motorsport Dean Fiore Nissan Altima 1:22.5393 1.5638
18 78 Team Harvey Norman David Russell Nissan Altima 1:22.6925 1.7170
19 99 Erebus GB Galvanizing Racing Chris Pither Holden Commodore VF 1:22.7033 1.7278
20 888 TeamVortex Steven Richards Holden Commodore VF 1:22.7989 1.8234
21 18 Preston Hire Racing Karl Reindler Holden Commodore VF 1:22.8920 1.9165
22 9 Erebus Penrite Racing Luke Youlden Holden Commodore VF 1:23.4263 2.4508
23 97 Red Bull Holden Racing Aust Matthew Campbell Holden Commodore VF 1:23.5455 2.5700
24 62 Repair Management Aust Racing Alex Davison Holden Commodore VF 1:23.8867 2.9112
25 75 Freightliner Racing Ashley Walsh Holden Commodore VF 1:24.6693 3.6938
26 5 The Bottle-O Racing Team Dean Canto Ford Falcon FG/X 1:24.7116 3.7361

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