Caruso leads Nissan one-two in Practice 2
Michael Caruso has pipped Nissan Motorsport team-mate Rick Kelly in practice as the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship finally experienced genuine dry running at the Winton SuperSprint.
Caruso finished the 45-minute session with a best time of 1:19.7105s, just 0.0165s faster than Kelly, while Nick Percat was an even slimmer margin slower in third.
Practice 2 ran amid clearing skies and a genuine dry racing line was soon apparent.
Caruso took the #23 Drive Nissan Altima to top spot just before the half-hour mark and held the mantle until the last minute when Kelly (#15 Castrol Nissan Altima) took over.
Shane van Gisbergen and then Nick Percat slotted in behind Kelly before Caruso jumped back up just seconds before the chequered flag.
“It’s still pretty slippery out there but ultimately the guys did a good job in that session to get the car to a point where I’m reasonably happy,” said Caruso.
“But it’ll be a lot faster tomorrow as the track gets a bit better, more rubber (goes down).”
Kelly, however, had mixed feelings after admitting to an error on his fastest lap.
“I’m angry at myself, the guys gave us a really good car,” he said.
“We ran a second set of tyres that were older that didn’t handle great and then they put the greens on and I got to Turn 1 and like a monkey, way too slow.
“That made me angry that I dumped that time and we did a good job for that rest of the lap.
“So clearly, if I’m dumping time like that and (finish) second the car’s very, very good.
“Today’s track condition was pretty interesting, going from wet to dry and seeing when it came on.
“So tomorrow’s a completely different day and we know Winton, the track condition changes day to day so we’ll see what tomorrow says.”
Chaz Mostert was fastest to the second sector right at the death but came across traffic and could only improve to seventh in the #55 Supercheap Auto FGX Falcon.
Percat (#8 Timken ZB Commodore), Fabian Coulthard (#12 Shell V-Power FGX Falcon), and van Gisbergen (#97 Red Bull HRT Commodore) were all within a tenth of a second of Caruso in third to fifth respectively.
Andre Heimgartner (#7 Pluss Fitness Racing Altima) made for three Nissans in the top six, while eighth through 10th were Tim Slade (#14 Freightliner ZB Commodore), Lee Holdsworth (#400 Preston Hire ZB Commodore), and Scott Pye (#2 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore).
Richie Stanaway (#56 Mega Fuels FGX Falcon) spent time in first position before dropping back to 13th, one position ahead of team-mate Mark Winterbottom (#5 The Bottle-O FGX Falcon).
Scott McLaughlin (#17 DJR Team Penske FGX Falcon) and Jamie Whincup (#1 Triple Eight ZB Commodore) were 15th and 16th respectively.
Pirtek Enduro Cup co-drivers continued to get laps, namely David Russell (#6 Monster Energy FGX Falcon), Luke Youlden (#9 Erebus Penrite ZB Commodore), James Moffat (#55 Tickford FGX Falcon), and Jack Perkins (#25 Walkinshaw Andretti United ZB Commodore), the latter of whom again stood in for the ill James Courtney.
Russell and van Gisbergen had similar offs at the right-hander at pit entry around the 10-minute mark, though it was unclear whether the cause was oil which may have been dropped on the track or dirt that had been carried on.
Both managed to drive into pit lane proper during what was another session uninterrupted by red flags.
There will be a further 45-minute session tomorrow at 1030 local time/AEST before Armor All Qualifying.
Results: Practice 2
|1||23 Drive Racing||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||1:19.7105*SS|
|2||15 Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:19.7270 SS||00.0165|
|3||8 Timken Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||1:19.7407 SS||00.0302|
|4||12 Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:19.7651 SS||00.0546|
|5||97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||1:19.7971 SS||00.0866|
|6||7 Plus Fitness Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Nissan Altima||1:19.8424 SS||00.1319|
|7||55 Supercheap Auto Racing||C.Mostert/J.Moffat||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:19.8882 SS||00.1777|
|8||14 Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore ZB||1:19.9812 SS||00.2707|
|9||400 Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore ZB||1:20.0640 SS||00.3535|
|10||2 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||1:20.0744 SS||00.3639|
|11||99 Erebus Thermosphere Racing||Anton de Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||1:20.0810 SS||00.3705|
|12||9 Erebus Penrite Racing||D.Reynolds/L.Youlden||Holden Commodore ZB||1:20.0999 SS||00.3894|
|13||56 MEGA Racing||Richie Stanaway||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:20.1037 SS||00.3932|
|14||5 The Bottle-O Racing Team||M.Winterbottom/D.Canto||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:20.1144 SS||00.4039|
|15||17 Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:20.1294 SS||00.4189|
|16||1 Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||1:20.1865 SS||00.4760|
|17||6 Monster Energy Racing||C.Waters/D.Russell||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:20.2570 SS||00.5465|
|18||78 Team Harvey Norman||Simona De Silvestro||Nissan Altima||1:20.2743 SS||00.5638|
|19||35 Bigmate Racing||Todd Hazelwood||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:20.4579 SS||00.7474|
|20||888 Autobarn Lowndes Racing||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore ZB||1:20.5363 SS||00.8258|
|21||19 Tekno Autosport||Jack Le Brocq||Holden Commodore ZB||1:20.6513 SS||00.9408|
|22||33 Wilson Security Racing GRM||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore ZB||1:20.7591 SS||01.0486|
|23||34 Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Golding||Holden Commodore ZB||1:20.7873 SS||01.0768|
|24||21 Team Cooldrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore ZB||1:20.8118 SS||01.1013|
|25||230 Milwaukee Racing||Will Davison||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:20.8820 SS||01.1715|
|26||25 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||Jack Perkins||Holden Commodore ZB||1:21.4341 SS||01.7236|