Brown fastest as Winton test approaches halfway

Will Brown

Erebus Motorsport’s Will Brown has set the pace so far in the Winton pre-season test for this year’s Repco Supercars Championship.

With four hours down and four-and-a-half to go, Brown holds the fastest time of those who have cut laps in the 16 cars which are present at today’s hit-out for the southern-based teams.

The 22-year-old, who has already enjoyed a rookie test day at Winton late last month, clocked a 1:19.5089s just after the 60-minute mark in the #9 ZB Commodore.

No one has come close to that time in the three hours which have elapsed since, but former Erebus driver David Reynolds remains second on a 1:20.0714s in the #26 Kelly Grove Racing Mustang.

Reynolds was the fast man for the opening hour at Winton Motor Raceway, save for the very beginning of the day and a handful of minutes when Team 18’s Scott Pye held sway.

Pye set a 1:20.2986s in the 17th minute of proceedings, while his fastest so far is a 1:20.0987s after almost three quarters of an hour, leaving the #20 ZB Commodore third at present.

While six of the seven teams present at Winton are represented in the top seven, two of the top four are Erebus cars after Brodie Kostecki (#99 ZB Commodore) recorded a 1:20.1513s not long before the first hour was done.

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Fifth through eighth, as it stands, are Cameron Waters (#6 Tickford Racing Mustang), Bryce Fullwood (#2 Walkinshaw Andretti United ZB Commodore), Nick Percat (#8 Brad Jones Racing ZB Commodore), and Chaz Mostert (#25 WAU ZB Commodore).

While the latter’s best time so far is a 1:20.4039s, it is noteworthy given it came over three-and-a-half hours after the 09:00 (local time/AEDT) commencement of proceedings.

The 2014 Bathurst 1000 winner had set a 1:20.4686s in the first hour and a high-1:20.5s was the best which anyone could achieve for most of the next two hours.

In the fourth hour, the pace had blown out to regular 1:21s and beyond, and even Percat’s 1:20.7921s just a few minutes prior to Mostert’s new personal best was comparatively impressive.

A total of nine drivers are within a second of Brown’s benchmark, the last being James Courtney (#44 Tickford Mustang) with a 1:20.4866s, while Macauley Jones (#96 BJR ZB Commodore) rounds out the top 10 with a 1:20.5786s.

Tim Slade is 12th for the new Blanchard Racing Team, but his 1:20.6486s was among the quickest at the time it was set in the #3 Mustang, just after two-and-a-half hours in.

Several additional drivers have enjoyed laps so far, including Jack Perkins (Brown’s co-driver), WAU’s Lee Holdsworth (Mostert) and Warren Luff (Fullwood), Tickford’s James Moffat (Waters) and Thomas Randle (Courtney), and James Golding (Pye).

The greatest mileage has been achieved, collectively, by Waters and Moffat, with a touch over 80 laps between them in Car #6.

Supercars pre-season test, Winton Motor Raceway (midday):

Pos Driver Laps Time Diff
1 Will Brown 60 1:19.5089
2 David Reynolds 33 1:20.0714 +0.5625
3 Scott Pye 72 1:20.0987 +0.5898
4 Brodie Kostecki 52 1:20.1513 +0.6424
5 Cameron Waters 82 1:20.1946 +0.6857
6 Bryce Fullwood 67 1:20.2753 +0.7664
7 Nick Percat 57 1:20.3807 +0.8718
8 Chaz Mostert 64 1:20.4039 +0.9650
9 James Courtney 56 1:20.4866 +0.9777
10 Macauley Jones 54 1:20.5786 +1.0697
11 Jack Smith 48 1:20.6266 +1.1177
12 Tim Slade 58 1:20.6486 +1.1397
13 Jack Le Brocq 65 1:20.6765 +1.1676
14 Todd Hazelwood 63 1:20.6797 +1.1708
15 Mark Winterbottom 42 1:20.7204 +1.2115
16 Andre Heimgartner 38 1:20.9189 +1.4100

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