David Russell has set the fastest lap after the chequered flag as all four Tickford Racing Falcons made the top six in a wet Additional Drivers Practice at the Winton SuperSprint.
Steve Owen set an even later personal best to slot into second, ahead of Brad Jones Racing’s Macauley Jones and another Tickford driver in Dean Canto.
Russell’s best of 1:38.0430s in Cameron Waters’ #6 Monster Energy FGX Falcon was almost 20 seconds away from the Supercars practice record at Winton.
Early drizzle had left the 3.00km track wet for the start of the half-hour session, though with little to no rainfall a dry line began to form around midway through.
“The car was really good,” said Russell, a new recruit at Campbellfield.
“In those conditions, the last thing you want to do is go firing off. I think for all of us there was bit of a margin on the brakes.”
Owen ended up 0.5424s slower in Richie Stanaway’s #56 Mega Fuels FGX Falcon to edge Jones (#8 Timken ZB Commodore), who had been fastest prior to the chequers, to third.
Canto (#5 The Bottle-O Racing FGX Falcon) was only 0.0021s slower again, while former Tickford co-driver Garry Jacobson put Rick Kelly’s #15 Castrol Nissan Altima into fifth.
Jacobson was in with a shout of going to the top in the dying stages, setting the fastest second sector, but reported dropping a wheel off the track and pitted before the end of the lap.
James Moffat spent time at the top of the order during the session before finishing sixth in Chaz Mostert’s #55 Supercheap Auto FGX Falcon.
Rounding out the top 10 were Dean Fiore, Bryce Fullwood, Aaren Russell, and Earl Bamber.
Each of the latter three were among those to spend time in first position, Bamber in his first official Virgin Australia Supercars Championship session in Shane van Gisbergen’s #97 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore.
“It was awesome to have the first taste of a Supercar with one of the best teams,” said Bamber.
“Unfortunately there was bit of rain so it was good to some experience as it was wet last year. I’m pretty happy with the session.”
Matthew Brabham was 11th in Lee Holdsworth’s #400 Preston Hire ZB Commodore, one position ahead of Tony D’Alberto in the #12 Shell V-Power FGX Falcon.
D’Alberto was cross-entered in each of DJR Team Penske’s Fords but Car #17 did not leave the pits.
Also missing were Cars #1 and #888 from Triple Eight and Erebus Motorsport’s two Holdens, all electing not to bother cutting laps in the wet conditions.
There were a number of minor offs during the session, with Moffat, Fullwood, Jack Perkins, Alex Davison, and Greg Murphy among those to leave the tarmac, though none triggered a red flag.
Murphy ended the session in 15th spot having received a late call up to drive the Tekno Autosports Holden.
Practice 1, scheduled for 45 minutes, will start at 1200 local time/AEST.
Results: Additional Drivers Practice
|1||6 Monster Energy Racing||David Russell||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:38.0430*W|
|2||56 MEGA Racing||Steve Owen||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:38.5854 W||00.5424|
|3||8 Timken Racing||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||1:38.6005 W||00.5575|
|4||5 The Bottle-O Racing Team||Dean Canto||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:38.6026 W||00.5596|
|5||15 Castrol Racing||Garry Jacobson||Nissan Altima||1:38.6317 W||00.5887|
|6||55 Supercheap Auto Racing||James Moffat||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:38.7692 W||00.7262|
|7||23 Drive Racing||Dean Fiore||Nissan Altima||1:38.8026 W||00.7596|
|8||35 Bigmate Racing||Bryce Fullwood||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:38.8538 W||00.8108|
|9||7 Plus Fitness Racing||Aaren Russell||Nissan Altima||1:38.9363 W||00.8933|
|10||97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Earl Bamber||Holden Commodore ZB||1:39.1290 W||01.0860|
|11||400 Preston Hire Racing||Matthew Brabham||Holden Commodore ZB||1:39.3451 W||01.3021|
|12||12 Shell V-Power Racing Team||Tony D’Alberto||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:39.4149 W||01.3719|
|13||78 Team Harvey Norman||Alex Rullo||Nissan Altima||1:39.4279 W||01.3849|
|14||33 Wilson Security Racing GRM||Chris Pither||Holden Commodore ZB||1:39.5020 W||01.4590|
|15||19 Tekno Autosport||Greg Murphy||Holden Commodore ZB||1:39.5499 W||01.5069|
|16||25 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||Jack Perkins||Holden Commodore ZB||1:39.7496 W||01.7066|
|17||14 Freightliner Racing||Ashley Walsh||Holden Commodore ZB||1:39.8046 W||01.7616|
|18||230 Milwaukee Racing||Alex Davison||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:39.8344 W||01.7914|
|19||34 Wilson Security Racing GRM||J.Golding/R.Muscat||Holden Commodore ZB||1:40.1394 W||02.0964|
|20||21 Team Cooldrive||Adam Marjoram||Holden Commodore ZB||1:41.3219 W||03.2789|
|21||2 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||Warren Luff||Holden Commodore ZB||1:42.1995 W||04.1565|