Honda WTCR driver Nestor Girolami has set a blistering pace in opening practice for TCR Australia Round 6 at Sandown.
The Argentine was almost a second faster than his nearest rival on his first ever drive around the suburban Melbourne circuit.
Girolami went to the top of the timesheets early in the session but it wasn’t until the final 15 minutes when he hit his stride in the #38 Wall Racing Honda Civic Type R.
The WTCR star posted a 1:15.66s in the final moments which proved to be 0.8s faster than series leader Will Brown (HMO Customer Racing, Hyundai).
Brown was fast from the outset but was unable to match the ultimate pace of Girolami.
Tony D’Alberto was third fastest in his Wall Racing Honda albeit 1.1s shy of his new team-mate.
Nathan Morcom put his HMO Customer Racing Hyundai into fourth ahead of Garry Rogers Motorsport’s Jordan Cox (Alfa Romeo).
Series contender Dylan O’Keeffe (Ash Seward Motorsport, Alfa Romeo) could only manage sixth.
The top 10 was completed by Russell Ingall (Melbourne Performance Centre, Audi), John Martin (Wall Racing, Honda), Chris Pither (Garry Rogers Motorsport, Renault) and Andre Heimgartner (Kelly Racing, Opel).
Triple Eight Supercars co-driver Garth Tander ended up in 15th position.
The field will return for a second 30 minute practice session at 1420 AEST.
Results: TCR Australia Practice 1, Sandown
|1||38||Nestor Girolami (ARG)||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R||1:15.6664|
|2||30||William Brown (Qld)||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30N||1:16.5564||00.8900|
|3||50||Tony D’Alberto (Vic)||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R||1:16.7969||01.1305|
|4||11||Nathan Morcom (NSW)||HMO Customer Racing||Hyundai i30N||1:17.1506||01.4842|
|5||7||Jordan Cox (NSW)||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||1:17.1512||01.4848|
|6||9||Dylan O’Keeffe (Vic)||Ashley Seward Motorsport||Alfa Romeo Giulietta||1:17.1635||01.4971|
|7||100||Russell Ingall (Qld)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS 3||1:17.4295||01.7631|
|8||24||John Martin (NSW)||Wall Racing||Honda Civic Type R||1:17.6111||01.9447|
|9||33||Chris Pither (NZ)||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Renault Megane RS||1:17.9094||02.2430|
|10||777||Andre Heimgartner (NZ)||Kelly Racing||Holden Astra||1:18.0193||02.3529|
|11||97||Liam McAdam (Qld)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS 3||1:18.3421||02.6757|
|12||8||Jason Bright (Vic)||Taskforce/Melb Performance Cnt||Volkswagon Golf GTI||1:18.4580||02.7916|
|13||62||Bryce Fullwood (NT)||Kelly Racing||Holden Astra||1:18.5358||02.8694|
|14||2||Aaron Cameron (Vic)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Volkswagen Golf GTI||1:18.6748||03.0084|
|15||3||Garth Tander (Vic)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Audi RS 3||1:18.9203||03.2539|
|16||34||James Moffat (Vic)||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Renault Megane RS||1:18.9851||03.3187|
|17||35||Alexandra Whitley (Qld)||Melbourne Performance Centre||Volkswagon Golf GTI||1:21.8506||06.1842|