Rick Kelly has clocked the fastest lap in Practice 1 for the Vodafone Gold Coast 600, which ended slightly early when James Golding clouted the wall.
Kelly moved from outside the top 10 to take over the lead with just over five minutes of the half-hour session remaining, and that time of 1:11.3245s stood up against the efforts which followed.
A red flag was called with just over 30 seconds left as a result of Golding’s error at the Beach Chicane.
The rookie got his line slightly wrong through the middle of the complex and ultimately hit the wall on both sides in the #34 Wilson Security ZB Commodore.
The right-rear and left-front corners appeared to bear the brunt of the impacts as Golding ricocheted between the concrete.
Kelly was therefore locked into first position in the #15 Castrol Nissan Altima from Craig Lowndes and Scott Pye.
“We had a bit of a quicker car there but McLaughlin’s team-mate was, I don’t know, warming up, whatever, and got in the way a little bit in that last sector so it cost us a little bit,” reported Kelly.
“It’s challenging out there, you obviously see the damage on the GRM car and everyone’s sort of scraping walls to get a time and that’s what this place is about so I guess that’s why the drivers enjoy it so much.”
Lowndes was a late mover from the bottom half of the field to close to 0.1107s off the pace in the #888 Autobarn ZB Commodore, while Warren Luff finished the session in Pye’s #2 Boost Mobile ZB Commodore.
Rounding out the top 10 were Nick Percat (#8 Alliance Truck Parts ZB Commodore), Jamie Whincup (#1 Red Bull HRT ZB Commodore), Scott McLaughlin (#17 Shell V-Power Racing FGX Falcon), Shane van Gisbergen (#97 Triple Eight ZB Commodore), David Reynolds (#9 Penrite ZB Commodore), Jack Le Brocq (#19 Tekno Autosports ZB Commodore), and Michael Caruso (#23 Industrial Athlete Nissan Altima).
While Golding’s was the only major hit, he was not the only driver to put marks on their cars.
Whincup bumped the wall at Breaker Street (Turn 11), Richie Stanaway twice wagged the tail of the #56 Rabble.Club FGX Falcon into the same wall, and Chaz Mostert scraped the side of the #55 Supercheap Auto FGX Falcon at the Front Chicane.
The latter was still fastest of the Tickford drivers in 14th, one position behind Fabian Coulthard in the #12 DJR Team Penske FGX Falcon.
Pye and Anton De Pasquale (#99 Erebus ZB Commodore) both got away with big sideways moments off the Beach Chicane and Front Chicane respectively.
Practice 2, for co-drivers only, starts at 1345 local time/1445 AEDT.
Results: Vodafone Gold Coast 600, Practice 1
|1||15||Rick Kelly||Castrol Racing||Nissan Altima||1:11.325|
|2||888||Craig Lowndes||Autobarn Lowndes Racing||Holden Commodore ZB||1:11.435||+0.111|
|3||2||S.Pye/W.Luff||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||Holden Commodore ZB||1:11.441||+0.117|
|4||8||N.Percat/M.Jones||Alliance Truck Parts Racing||Holden Commodore ZB||1:11.442||+0.118|
|5||1||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Holden Commodore ZB||1:11.479||+0.154|
|6||17||S.McLaughlin/A.Premat||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:11.500||+0.175|
|7||97||Shane Van Gisbergen||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Holden Commodore ZB||1:11.565||+0.241|
|8||9||David Reynolds||Erebus Penrite Racing||Holden Commodore ZB||1:11.607||+0.282|
|9||19||Jack Le Brocq||Tekno Autosport||Holden Commodore ZB||1:11.649||+0.325|
|10||23||Michael Caruso||Drive Racing||Nissan Altima||1:11.661||+0.336|
|11||7||Andre Heimgartner||Plus Fitness Racing||Nissan Altima||1:11.725||+0.401|
|12||25||J.Courtney/J.Perkins||Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing||Holden Commodore ZB||1:11.836||+0.511|
|13||12||F.Coulthard/T.D’Alberto||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:11.845||+0.520|
|14||55||C.Mostert/J.Moffat||Supercheap Auto Racing||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:11.897||+0.573|
|15||5||M.Winterbottom/D.Canto||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:11.935||+0.610|
|16||18||L.Holdsworth/J.Bright||Preston Hire Racing||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.012||+0.687|
|17||34||J.Golding/R.Muscat||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.089||+0.765|
|18||6||C.Waters/D.Russell||Monster Energy Racing||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:12.111||+0.787|
|19||230||Will Davison||Milwaukee Racing||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:12.117||+0.792|
|20||14||T.Slade/A.Walsh||Freightliner Racing||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.206||+0.882|
|21||21||Tim Blanchard||Team CoolDrive||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.292||+0.967|
|22||78||Simona De Silvestro||Team Harvey Norman||Nissan Altima||1:12.391||+1.067|
|23||35||T.Hazelwood/B.Fullwood||Bigmate Racing||Holden Commodore VF2||1:12.630||+1.305|
|24||33||Garth Tander||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.654||+1.330|
|25||99||Anton de Pasquale||Erebus Motorsport||Holden Commodore ZB||1:12.844||+1.519|
|26||56||R.Stanaway/S.Owen||RABBLE.club Racing||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:13.696||+2.371|