DJRTP expects times to tumble on Friday

Scott McLaughlin

DJR Team Penske team boss Ryan Story expects times to tumble heading into the second day of practice for this weekend’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

With conditions expected to cool by as much as 10 degrees for Friday practice, Story expects laptimes will continue to fall as the track continues to rubber in.

“Yeah, I would expect so, especially with the cooler weather but we’ll wait and see,” Story told Speedcafe.com, when asked if he thought times would dip lower on Friday.

“I don’t believe we got into the fours last year, we obviously did the year before that when the bitumen was fresh.

“I think with the evolution with the cars over the last 12 months there’s no doubt in my mind that we could have even seen one this afternoon, which would have been somewhat extraordinary, to say the least.”

The DJR Team Penkse squad ended the day with both its cars in the top three, with Scott McLaughlin second fastest on 2:05.12s after setting an early benchmark 1.6 seconds faster than the opposition midway through the day’s final practice session.

His time was ultimately beaten by Erebus Motorsport’s David Reynolds, but it’s left Story upbeat heading into the remainder of the weekend.

“It’s not a bad start to the weekend when you can get into the low fives,” Story added.

“Scott’s in a pretty good spot, feeling pretty confident and fairly buoyant, particularly with how the car is across the top and down the hill.

“Fabian hasn’t quite got his confidence to the same level as Scotty’s yet but it’ll come.”

“The car was good straight out of the box,” said McLaughlin.

“Towards the end of the session we sort of tuned away from where we were, then Alex jumped in and we tuned it up again and then straight away in that last session it felt good.”

However, while happy with the pace from McLaughlin, Story has warned against reading to much into the mid-session advantage.

“To have that delta midway through a session can be somewhat alarming for the other guys in the field, and not to mention on the other side of the garage,” said Story.

“I think it was just the fact we were probably a little bit out of sync with how we used our tyres there.

“Certainly, the pace was encouraging, really, really strong, and if we can do laps like that tomorrow in what we anticipate will be slightly cooler conditions, we’ll be pretty pleased with that.

“We just need to keep pressing away and focus and ensure that our race pace is good.

“Thursdays are all about getting comfortable and confident with the car that’s underneath you. You’re not really thinking about quali, you’re not really thinking about race, you’re just trying to have the car and the track.

“You need that confidence to be high to get the lap time out of it for sure.”

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