Shane van Gisbergen has set the pace in a rain-affected first all-in practice session at the Repco SuperSprint The Bend.
Light rain began to fall almost as soon as the half-hour hit-out began and while it was persistent, all 24 drivers ran on soft slicks throughout.
Van Gisbergen was among the last to finish the session and did so with a 1:48.1215s in his Red Bull Holden which knocked Walkinshaw Andretti United rookie Bryce Fullwood off top spot by 0.1366s.
Tickford Racing’s Cameron Waters ended up third at 0.4229s off the pace, while the Shell V-Power Racing Team’s Scott McLaughlin finished seventh-fastest.
McLaughlin’s team-mate Fabian Coulthard (#12 Mustang) was 13th all told and Jamie Whincup (#88 ZB Commodore) 20th in the second of the Triple Eight Race Engineering entries.
Macauley Jones (#3 CoolDrive ZB Commodore) started with a 1:50.1100s, faster than he had gone in setting the pace in the Rookie Practice session just prior and 0.2900s up on McLaughlin, who was fourth after the initial flyers.
Despite the rain appearing as that was going on, McLaughlin moved into the lead with a 1:50.0220s next time around in his #17 Mustang.
That effort did not stand as fastest for long, however, with van Gisbergen (#97 ZB Commodore) clocking a 1:49.9626s and then Fullwood (#2 Mobil 1 Middy’s ZB Commodore) moving the marker to a 1:49.8227s on his first flyer.
Van Gisbergen crept up to a 1:49.9182s on a relatively early second run despite periodically using the windscreen wiper, consolidating his hold on second position.
He remained there until DJR Team Penske duo Coulthard and then McLaughlin took over first position with a 1:49.6754s and 1:49.4362s respectively.
They were quickly split by Waters, who drew a 1:49.6541s from the #6 Monster Energy Mustang, before he was beaten by Anton De Pasquale’s (#99 Penrite ZB Commodore) 1:49.5684s and then Rick Kelly’s (#15 Castrol Mustang) 1:49.4390s.
McLaughlin was still quickest until Tickford’s Lee Holdsworth got all the way down to a 1:48.6259s in the final three minutes which would ultimately leave the #5 Truck Assist Mustang fourth on the timesheet.
Such was the time, Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Appliances Online ZB Commodore) was still eight tenths slower when he subsequently moved into second position, and Mark Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Tools ZB Commodore) half a second back when he usurped his fellow former Tickford driver.
Another current Tickford driver in Waters then set the 1:48.5444s which would be good enough for third-fastest.
With the chequered flag out, Fullwood clocked a 1:48.2581s to go back to the lead before van Gisbergen’s 1:48.1215s, during which he used up all of the track and then slightly more exiting the final corner.
Kelly Racing’s Andre Heimgartner (#7 Ned Mustang) finished up fifth with a best of 1:48.7133s, ahead of De Pasquale, and McLaughlin’s 1:48.7667s on reportedly used tyres.
Rounding out the top 10 were Jack Le Brocq (#55 Supercheap Auto Mustang), Nick Percat (#8 R&J Batteries ZB Commodore), and Garry Jacobson (#35 Yellow Cover ZB Commodore).
Winterbottom was shuffled back to 11th with the time which had him second at one point, while David Reynolds (#9 Penrite ZB Commodore) ended up 12th and Mostert 14th.
There were a number of offs during proceedings, the most spectacular of which being Scott Pye’s spin off the string of right-handers, just over 10 minutes in.
He went on to set a best of 1:49.6005s which left the #20 DeWalt ZB Commodore in 18th.
Practice 2 for the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship field starts at 10:25 local time/10:55 AEST.
Results: Practice 1
|1||97||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Shane van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore ZB||1:48.1215|
|2||2||Mobil 1 TM Middy’s Racing||Bryce Fullwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1:48.2581||0:00.1366|
|3||6||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Mustang GT||1:48.5444||0:00.4229|
|4||5||Truck Assist Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Ford Mustang GT||1:48.6259||0:00.5044|
|5||7||NED Whisky Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Ford Mustang GT||1:48.7133||0:00.5918|
|6||99||Penrite Racing||Anton De Pasquale||Holden Commodore ZB||1:48.7538||0:00.6323|
|7||17||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Mustang GT||1:48.7667||0:00.6452|
|8||55||Supercheap Auto Racing||Jack Le Brocq||Ford Mustang GT||1:48.8200||0:00.6985|
|9||8||R&J Batteries||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore ZB||1:48.9026||0:00.7811|
|10||35||Yellow Cover Racing||Garry Jacobson||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.1086||0:00.9871|
|11||18||IRWIN Racing||Mark Winterbottom||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.1298||0:01.0083|
|12||9||Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.2519||0:01.1304|
|13||12||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Mustang GT||1:49.2970||0:01.1755|
|14||25||Mobil 1 Appliances Online||Chaz Mostert||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.4339||0:01.3124|
|15||15||Castrol Racing||Rick Kelly||Ford Mustang GT||1:49.4390||0:01.3175|
|16||22||Team SYDNEY||Chris Pither||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.5257||0:01.4042|
|17||44||Boost Mobile Racing||James Courtney||Ford Mustang GT||1:49.5565||0:01.4350|
|18||20||DEWALT Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.6005||0:01.4790|
|19||14||TRG Transport||Todd Hazelwood||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.6761||0:01.5546|
|20||88||Red Bull Holden Racing Team||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.8446||0:01.7231|
|21||34||UNIT Racing||Zane Goddard||Holden Commodore ZB||1:49.9826||0:01.8611|
|22||3||Team CoolDrive||Macauley Jones||Holden Commodore ZB||1:50.1100||0:01.9885|
|23||4||SCT Motor Sports||Jack Smith||Holden Commodore ZB||1:50.2687||0:02.1472|
|24||19||Local Legends Racing||Alex Davison||Holden Commodore ZB||1:50.9876||0:02.8661|