Heimgartner fastest in Barbagallo Practice 1

Andre Heimgartner pic: Andy Pearson

Andre Heimgartner has lapped fastest in opening practice for the Perth SuperSprint at Barbagallo Raceway.

The Nissan Motorsport driver jumped up in the final minute of the 45-minute hit-out to bump Scott Pye, with Craig Lowndes third-fastest.

Heimgartner’s 0:55.6825s lap made him one of five drivers to get under 56 seconds and was just 0.0312s faster than Pye’s best in the Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Commodore.

“We had a new sort of strategy on setting up the car and it seems to have worked pretty well so it’s a good start,” said Heimgartner.

“Not getting too excited just yet because you never know what can happen but it’s great for Plus Fitness Nissan and it’s a good start for the weekend.”

Lowndes (Autobarn Lowndes Racing) was just over a tenth off the pace, ahead of Scott McLaughlin and Jamie Whincup (Red Bull HRT Commodore).

McLaughlin was the only driver in the top half of the field to set his personal best early in the session, clocking an impressive 0:55.8256s on somewhat used tyres in the #17 Shell V-Power Falcon.

The Kiwi held the top spot for more than half an hour before Pye went quicker.

Rounding out the top 10 were David Reynolds (Erebus Penrite Commodore), Michael Caruso (Drive Altima), Anton De Pasquale (Erebus Thermosphere Commodore), Lee Holdsworth (Preston Hire Commodore), and Jack Le Brocq.

Le Brocq spent time in the garage with a power steering drama in the Tekno Autosports Commodore before climbing as high as second position with just over five minutes remaining as he persevered through the issue.

Supercheap Auto Racing’s Chaz Mostert was the first of the Tickford Falcons in 13th, one position ahead of team-mate Mark Winterbottom.

Shane van Gisbergen (Triple Eight Commodore) and Fabian Coulthard (DJR Team Penske Falcon) were 22nd and 23rd respectively, both nearly a second off the pace.

Rick Kelly (Castrol Racing Altima) was just beyond a second slower than team-mate Heimgartner in 24th.

Practice 2, another 45-minute session, follows at 1440 local time/1640 AEST.

Results: Practice 1, Perth SuperSprint

1 Plus Fitness Racing Andre Heimgartner Nissan Altima 0:55.6825*SS
2 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing Scott Pye Holden Commodore ZB 0:55.7137 SS 00.0312
3 Autobarn Lowndes Racing Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore ZB 0:55.7848 SS 00.1023
4 Shell V-Power Racing Team Scott McLaughlin Ford Falcon FG/X 0:55.8256 SS 00.1431
5 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore ZB 0:55.9387 SS 00.2562
6 Erebus Penrite Racing David Reynolds Holden Commodore ZB 0:56.0463 SS 00.3638
7 Drive Racing Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 0:56.0557 SS 00.3732
8 Erebus Thermosphere Racing Anton de Pasquale Holden Commodore ZB 0:56.0966 SS 00.4141
9 Preston Hire Racing L.Holdsworth/M.Brabham Holden Commodore ZB 0:56.1073 SS 00.4248
10 Tekno Autosport Jack Le Brocq Holden Commodore ZB 0:56.1235 SS 00.4410
11 Wilson Security Racing GRM Garth Tander Holden Commodore ZB 0:56.1669 SS 00.4844
12 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore ZB 0:56.1797 SS 00.4972
13 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 0:56.1831 SS 00.5006
14 The Bottle-O Racing Team Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 0:56.2087 SS 00.5262
15 Blackwoods Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore ZB 0:56.2242 SS 00.5417
16 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing James Courtney Holden Commodore ZB 0:56.2681 SS 00.5856
17 MEGA Racing Richie Stanaway Ford Falcon FG/X 0:56.2986 SS 00.6161
18 Milwaukee Racing Will Davison Ford Falcon FG/X 0:56.3025 SS 00.6200
19 Team Harvey Norman Simona De Silvestro Nissan Altima 0:56.3588 SS 00.6763
20 Team CoolDrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore ZB 0:56.3726 SS 00.6901
21 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 0:56.3846 SS 00.7021
22 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore ZB 0:56.5928 SS 00.9103
23 Shell V-Power Racing Team Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG/X 0:56.6011 SS 00.9186
24 Castrol Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 0:56.7289 SS 01.0464
25 Bigmate Racing Todd Hazelwood Ford Falcon FG/X 0:57.0302 SS 01.3477
26 Wilson Security Racing GRM James Golding Holden Commodore ZB 0:57.0302 SS 01.3477

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