Brown edges Reynolds in first Winton practice

Will Brown at Winton Motor Raceway. Picture: Ross Gibb

A last gasp flyer from Will Brown has seen the Erebus Motorsport driver edge Grove Racing’s David Reynolds in Practice 1 at the Pizza Hut Winton SuperSprint.

In what was a relatively uneventful first 30-minute session at Winton Motor Raceway, a 1:18.7206s from the #9 Holden ZB Commodore put Brown a mere 0.1112s clear of #26 Ford Mustang pilot Reynolds.

“The Boost Mobile Commodore was feeling fantastic then,” said Brown.

“I rolled out for the first practice and probably didn’t put the best lap together and Tom [Moore, engineer] said we were third, so I was really happy with the overall set-up of the car.

“We had a great test day here only a week ago, so probably a bit of an advantage. To end up P1 after having a couple of tough rounds, it’s great. Hopefully we can roll that through this weekend.

“If we can do the same as this session [in Practice 2], I’d be pretty happy. That’s the focus. The car set-up is pretty good.

“At least when you roll out and the balance is just a few little tweaks, and you’re not throwing wholesale set-ups at it. 

“We’ll do a few small tweaks and hopefully we’ll be faster.”

Although Brown’s best was at the death, the quickest times by Reynolds, Cameron Waters, Mark Winterbottom and Scott Pye – who occupied second through fifth – came early on.

Initially, Shane van Gisbergen (#97 Red Bull Ampol Racing) set the pace ahead of Waters (#6 Monster Energy Racing) and surprise packet Macauley Jones (#96 DrillPro Racing).

Boost Mobile-backed Brown was the first of those to make a mistake, bowling a wide out of Turn 6 and ending up in the grass.

Off the back of a recent test, Grove Racing returned Winton Motor Raceway with a bundle of confidence. Evidence of that was Reynolds’ pace-setter on a 1:18.8318s, which held sway initially.

At the 10-minute mark, it was Reynolds who led Waters, Jones, van Gisbergen, Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing), Scott Pye (#20 Nulon Racing), Nick Percat (#2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing), Bryce Fullwood (#14 Middy’s Racing), Mark Winterbottom (#18 Irwin Racing), and Lee Holdsworth (#10 Penrite Racing).

In frosty conditions, Winterbottom found pace to edge his way up to fourth. Shortly thereafter, team-mate Pye put in a lap to move him to fifth.

As the session wore on, few looked likely to challenge Reynolds. With just 10 minutes left in the session the #26 still held top spot over Waters and Brown.

Will Davison (#17 Shell V-Power Racing Team) was the surprise of the field, bogged down in 25th and one second off the leading pace, although Dick Johnson Racing opted not to put the two-time Bathurst 1000 winner on new tyres.

Similarly, team-mate Anton De Pasquale in the #11 was only 20th, while Broc Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol Racing) found himself 23rd.

In the dying seconds, Brown rose to the top, though there was little in the way of movement elsewhere in the top 10.

All told, it was Brown who led the way on a 1:18.7206s ahead of Reynolds, Waters, Winterbottom, Pye, late riser Brodie Kostecki (#99 Boost Mobile Racing), Mostert, Jones, Andre Heimgartner (#8 R&J Batteries Racing), and Holdsworth.

James Courtney and Bryce Fullwood were late performers, moving to 11th and 12th respectively.

By the session’s end, Victorian teams occupied first through 12th while van Gisbergen was the first of the Queensland-based cars in 13th.

Practice 2 at the Pizza Hut Winton SuperSprint kicks off at 10:45 local time/AEST.

Results: Practice 1

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 9 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus Will Brown Holden ZB Commodore 1:18.7206
2 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 1:18.8318 +0.1112
3 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 1:18.9471 +0.2265
4 18 Irwin Racing Mark Winterbottom Holden ZB Commodore 1:19.1018 +0.3812
5 20 Nulon Racing Scott Pye Holden ZB Commodore 1:19.1664 +0.4458
6 99 Boost Mobile Racing by Erebus Brodie Kostecki Holden ZB Commodore 1:19.2090 +0.4884
7 25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing Chaz Mostert Holden ZB Commodore 1:19.2510 +0.5304
8 96 DrillPro Macauley Jones Holden ZB Commodore 1:19.3310 +0.6104
9 8 R&J Batteries Racing Andre Heimgartner Holden ZB Commodore 1:19.3437 +0.6231
10 10 Penrite Racing Lee Holdsworth Ford Mustang GT 1:19.3572 +0.6366
11 5 Snowy River Caravans James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 1:19.4229 +0.7023
12 14 Middy’s Electrical Racing Bryce Fullwood Holden ZB Commodore 1:19.4572 +0.7366
13 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Shane van Gisbergen Holden ZB Commodore 1:19.4802 +0.7596
14 2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing Nick Percat Holden ZB Commodore 1:19.4844 +0.7638
15 55 Castrol Racing Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 1:19.4969 +0.7763
16 56 Tradie Racing Jake Kostecki Ford Mustang GT 1:19.5125 +0.7919
17 49 Image Racing/Erebus Motorsport Jordan Boys Holden ZB Commodore 1:19.5182 +0.7976
18 27 East Coast Lubes Jayden Ojeda Holden ZB Commodore 1:19.5282 +0.8076
19 3 CoolDrive Racing Tim Slade Ford Mustang GT 1:19.5604 +0.8398
20 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 1:19.5616 +0.8409
21 4 SCT Logistics Racing Jack Smith Holden ZB Commodore 1:19.7009 +0.9803
22 34 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Holden ZB Commodore 1:19.7379 +1.0173
23 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Broc Feeney Holden ZB Commodore 1:19.8426 +1.1220
24 35 Truck Assist Racing Todd Hazelwood Holden ZB Commodore 1:19.8706 +1.1500
25 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 1:19.9177 +1.1971
26 76 PremiAir Subway Racing Garry Jacobson Holden ZB Commodore 1:20.1781 +1.4575
27 22 PremiAir Coca-Cola Racing Chris Pither Holden ZB Commodore 1:20.3463 +1.6257

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