Aaren Russell tops GC co-driver practice

The #7 Nissan Motorsport Altima

Nissan Motorsport’s Aaren Russell has set the fastest lap of the day so far in topping the co-driver practice session for the Vodafone Gold Coast 600.

Russell (#7 Pluss Fitness Nissan Altima) unseated Paul Dumbrell in the final minutes of the half-hour session with a 1:11.1204s which was two tenths quicker than team-mate Rick Kelly’s Practice 1 benchmark.

“It wasn’t an easy session; we had a brake drama midway through,” explained Russell, Andre Heimgartner’s co-driver.

“The pedal went to the floor at Turn 1, so it was a bit scary.

“But the team just do an awesome job and just feels good to drive a good car around here. Just feels so hooked up and I feel so comfortable in the car as well.”

The Novocastrian said that he was not on brand new tyres when he set the time.

“I think it was alright; obviously it wasn’t green but I think Andre had done a couple of runs on it,” he reported on the tyre set.

“It was alright but that’s probably the best set of tyres I’ve driven on for a while now.”

Earl Bamber was a late mover up the order as he slotted into second after the chequered flag in the #97 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore.

The Kiwi’s effort bumped Dumbrell back to third in the sister #1 ZB Commodore.

Tony D’Alberto (#12 Shell V-Power FGX Falcon) and Macauley Jones (#8 Alliance Truck Parts ZB Commodore) also spent time on top during the final 10 minutes of the half-hour session before being shuffled back to fourth and seventh respectively.

Splitting them were Steve Owen (#56 Rabble.Club FGX Falcon) in fifth and Warren Luff (#2 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore) in sixth.

Rounding out the top 10 were Jack Perkins (#25 Walkinshaw Andretti United ZB Commodore), Steven Richards (#888 Autobarn ZB Commodore), and Jonathon Webb (#19 Tekno Autosports ZB Commodore).

Alexandre Premat was 11th-fastest as he focused on race simulation in the #17 DJR Team Penske FGX Falcon, followed by Luke Youlden (#9 Penrite ZB Commodore).

There were two red flags during the session, caused by the #99 Erebus ZB Commodore and the #15 Castrol Nissan Altima.

Will Brown stopped on the chevron at pit entry with Car #99 blowing smoke, believed to be related to the power steering system.

Garry Jacobson nosed into the tyre wall at the end of the beach, causing what is believed to be not insignificant damage to Car #15.

The #34 Wilson Security ZB Commodore stayed in the garage as repairs continue after James Golding’s Practice 1 crash.

Practice 3, open to all drivers, starts at 1700 local time/1800 AEDT.

Results: Practice 2

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 7 Plus Fitness Racing Aaren Russell Nissan Altima 1:11.1204
2 97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Earl Bamber Holden Commodore ZB 1:11.4147 0:00.2943
3 1 Red Bull Holden Racing Team Paul Dumbrell Holden Commodore ZB 1:11.4245 0:00.3041
4 12 Shell V-Power Racing Team Tony D’Alberto Ford Falcon FG/X 1:11.5103 0:00.3899
5 56 RABBLE.club Racing Steve Owen Ford Falcon FG/X 1:11.5349 0:00.4145
6 2 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing Warren Luff Holden Commodore ZB 1:11.5444 0:00.4240
7 8 Alliance Truck Parts Racing Macauley Jones Holden Commodore ZB 1:11.5991 0:00.4787
8 25 Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing Jack Perkins Holden Commodore ZB 1:11.6979 0:00.5775
9 888 Autobarn Lowndes Racing Steven Richards Holden Commodore ZB 1:11.7097 0:00.5893
10 19 Tekno Autosports Jonathon Webb Holden Commodore ZB 1:11.7675 0:00.6471
11 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Alexandre Premat Ford Falcon FG/X 1:11.7803 0:00.6599
12 9 Erebus Penrite Racing Luke Youlden Holden Commodore ZB 1:11.7806 0:00.6602
13 55 Supercheap Auto Racing James Moffat Ford Falcon FG/X 1:11.7940 0:00.6736
14 23 Drive Racing Dean Fiore Nissan Altima 1:11.9134 0:00.7930
15 18 Preston Hire Racing Jason Bright Holden Commodore ZB 1:12.1135 0:00.9931
16 33 Wilson Security Racing GRM Chris Pither Holden Commodore ZB 1:12.1211 0:01.0007
17 21 Team CoolDrive Dale Wood Holden Commodore ZB 1:12.2081 0:01.0877
18 78 Team Harvey Norman Alex Rullo Nissan Altima 1:12.2130 0:01.0926
19 14 Freightliner Racing Ashley Walsh Holden Commodore ZB 1:12.2230 0:01.1026
20 15 Castrol Racing Garry Jacobson Nissan Altima 1:12.3575 0:01.2371
21 6 Monster Energy Racing David Russell Ford Falcon FG/X 1:12.4003 0:01.2799
22 5 The Bottle-O Racing Team Dean Canto Ford Falcon FG/X 1:12.5779 0:01.4575
23 99 Erebus Motorsport William Brown Holden Commodore ZB 1:12.6353 0:01.5149
24 230 Milwaukee Racing Alex Davison Ford Falcon FG/X 1:12.8242 0:01.7038
25 35 Bigmate Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden Commodore VF2 1:13.5417 0:02.4213

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