Caruso fastest in morning SMP test

Tom Howard

Friday 16th February, 2018 - 1:15pm


Michael Caruso pic: Matthew Paul Photography

Michael Caruso topped the times for Nissan Motorsport in the morning session of the pre-season test at Sydney Motorsport Park.

The 34-year-old, driving a brand new Altima, posted a 1:29.17s a third of the way through the three and half hour session held in hot and breezy conditions.

Teams were using various forms of tyres with 2017 softs and rubber used at Bathurst, the same specification as the new 2018 Dunlop tyres, in circulation. understands that brand new 2018 tyres will be saved for this afternoon’s four hour session.

Nissan occupied the top two spots with Rick Kelly second quickest despite suffering a steering issue during the session that saw the car spend time in the garage.

Shell V-Power Racing’s Fabian Coulthard was third in his brand new Ford Falcon, 0.4s adrift the pace.

David Reynolds ended up fourth after his new Holden ZB Commodore lost its passenger door in the closing minutes of the session.

Erebus were able to repair the damage and returned the car to the track.

Teams used the session to cycle through co-drivers with Erebus offering track time to Luke Youlden and Will Brown.

Tickford Racing also made use of the opportunity to cycle its co-drivers as Dean Canto and new signing James Moffat cutting laps.

Moffat jumped in the #55 Tickford Ford driven by Chaz Mostert.

Jonathon Webb also logged laps in the #19 Tekno Autosports entry of Jack Le Brocq before an incident on track, which progressed into an altercation in pit-lane with Shane van Gisbergen.

Scott Pye was fifth in the Walkinshaw Andretti United Holden ahead of the Triple Eight Autobarn Commodore of Craig Lowndes.

Le Brocq emerged as the top rookie in seventh while the top 10 was completed by James Courtney (Walkinshaw Andretti United), Anton de Pasquale (Erebus Motorsport) and Will Davison in the 23Red Racing Falcon.

RESULTS: Pre-season test, morning session

Pos Car Competitor/Team Driver Vehicle Laps Best
1 23 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 30 1:29.179
2 15 Nissan Motorsport Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 24 1:29.213
3 12 Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG/X 40 1:29.621
4 9 Erebus Penrite Racing D.Reynolds/L.Youlden Holden Commodore ZB 42 1:29.627
5 2 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 50 1:29.644
6 888 Autobarn Lowndes Racing Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore ZB 41 1:29.687
7 19 TEKNO Autosports Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 42 1:29.807
8 25 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Holden Commodore ZB 29 1:29.937
9 99 Erebus Motorsport Pasquale/W.Brown Holden Commodore ZB 33 1:30.036
10 230 Milwaukee Racing Will Davison Ford Falcon FG/X 33 1:30.252
11 7 Nissan Motorsport Andre Heimgartner Nissan Altima 38 1:30.264
12 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 43 1:30.446
13 33 Wilson Security Racing GRM Garth Tander Holden Commodore ZB 18 1:30.528
14 35 Bigmate Racing Todd Hazelwood Ford Falcon FG/X 35 1:30.553
15 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Falcon FG/X 36 1:30.572
16 78 Team Harvey Norman Simona De Silvestro Nissan Altima 36 1:30.698
17 5 The Bottle-O Racing Team M.Winterbottom/D.Canto Ford Falcon FG/X 45 1:30.843
18 18 Preston Hire Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore ZB 26 1:31.470
19 97 Red Bull Holden Racing Aust Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 50 1:31.572
20 14 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore ZB 47 1:31.589
21 8 Blackwoods Racing N.Percat/M.Jones Holden Commodore ZB 48 1:31.680
22 21 CoolDrive Racing Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore ZB 31 1:31.908
23 55 Supercheap Auto Racing C.Mostert/J.Moffat Ford Falcon FG/X 51 1:32.023
24 34 Wilson Security Racing GRM James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 38 1:32.061
25 56 Tickford Racing Richie Stanaway Ford Falcon FG/X 47 1:32.407
26 1 Red Bull Holden Racing Aust Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 36 1:32.485 comment policy

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