Tander tops tricky co-driver session at Sandown

Garth Tander

Garth Tander has topped a tightly contested opening practice session in changeable conditions at the Penrite Oil Sandown 500.

Patchy rain fell during the half-hour session, for co-drivers only, which caught out Craig Lowndes and others at Turn 4.

Tander, Lowndes’ team-mate at the Red Bull Holden Racing Team, ultimately set the pace with a 1:08.0361s, while Bryce Fullwood, Dale Wood, and Warren Luff all finished within a tenth of a second in second through fourth positions respectively.

Tander was prominent throughout, spending time in the lead on his first run before Thomas Randle clocked a 1:08.4947s in Lee Holdsworth’s #5 The Bottle-O Mustang.

Jack Perkins gradually crept to a 1:08.4098s during his second proper run in the #22 Mobil 1 ZB Commodore, before Wood closed to 0.0172s behind and Randle to 0.0808s back from the lead.

Tander was still within a tenth of a second of the best pace prior to the final runs, and bounced back from a minor off at Dandenong Road to subsequently go to a 1:08.1548s in Shane van Gisbergen’s #97 ZB Commodore.

Fullwood wheeled Andre Heimgartner’s #7 Plus Fitness Altima to a 1:08.0923s just before the chequered flag, only to be pipped by Tander again.

Wood (#15 Castrol Altima) ended up third in what was a frantic conclusion to proceedings, ahead of Walkinshaw Andretti United team-mates Luff (#2 Mobil 1 ZB Commodore) and Perkins.

Best of the Ford drivers was Tony D’Alberto at 0.1983s off the pace in Fabian Coulthard’s #12 Shell V-Power Mustang.

Rounding out the top 10 were James Moffat (#55 Supercheap Auto Mustang), Luke Youlden (#9 Penrtie ZB Commodore), Dean Fiore (#3 Rabble.Club Altima), and Alex Davison (#23 Milwaukee Mustang).

Alexandre Premat was 11th in the new #17 Shell V-Power Mustang and Randle one position further back.

Lowndes ended up 16th after his late spin, caused when he got the #888 ZB Commodore high on the Turn 3 exit kerb.

He stayed away from the barriers and Ash Walsh had what appeared to be an innocuous touch with the tyre wall when he made a similar mistake in the #14 Freightliner ZB Commodore.

Youlden had a spin at the same location very early in the session, which ran uninterrupted despite the tricky weather and drivers remaining on slicks.

Practice 2, a half-hour session for all drivers, starts at 1245 local time/AEDT.

Results: Practice 1

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 97 Red Bull Holden Racing Team G.Tander Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.0361  
2 7 Plus Fitness Racing B.Fullwood Nissan Altima 1:08.0923 0:00.0562
3 15 Castrol Racing D.Wood Nissan Altima 1:08.1008 0:00.0647
4 2 Mobil 1 Racing W.Luff Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.1323 0:00.0962
5 22 Mobil 1 Racing J.Perkins Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.1854 0:00.1493
6 12 Shell V-Power Racing Team T.D’Alberto Ford Mustang GT 1:08.2344 0:00.1983
7 55 Supercheap Auto Racing J.Moffat Ford Mustang GT 1:08.3724 0:00.3363
8 9 Penrite Racing L.Youlden Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.4426 0:00.4065
9 3 RABBLE.club Racing D.Fiore Nissan Altima 1:08.4447 0:00.4086
10 23 Milwaukee Racing A.Davison Ford Mustang GT 1:08.4509 0:00.4148
11 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team A.Premat Ford Mustang GT 1:08.4614 0:00.4253
12 5 The Bottle-O Racing Team T.Randle Ford Mustang GT 1:08.4906 0:00.4545
13 6 Monster Energy Racing Team M.Caruso Ford Mustang GT 1:08.5368 0:00.5007
14 99 Penrite Racing W.Brown Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.5662 0:00.5301
15 33 Boost Mobile Racing C.Pither Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.5788 0:00.5427
16 888 Red Bull Holden Racing Team C.Lowndes Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.6371 0:00.6010
17 14 Freightliner Racing A.Walsh Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.6383 0:00.6022
18 78 Team Harvey Norman A.Rullo Nissan Altima 1:08.6818 0:00.6457
19 8 Fujitsu Racing T.Blanchard Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.6992 0:00.6631
20 34 Boost Mobile Racing R.Muscat Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.6993 0:00.6632
21 21 Team CoolDrive D.Canto Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.8781 0:00.8420
22 35 Bigmate Racing J.Smith Holden Commodore ZB 1:08.9780 0:00.9419
23 19 Truck Assist TEKNO Racing J.Webb Holden Commodore ZB 1:09.2246 0:01.1885
24 18 Irwin Racing S.Richards Holden Commodore ZB 1:09.4004 0:01.3643
25 56 Boost Mobile Kostecki Brothers J.Kostecki Holden Commodore ZB 1:09.6447 0:01.6086

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