SVG quickest as field begins to roll out at wet SMP Supercars test

The #97 Triple Eight Race Engineering Camaro

The #97 Triple Eight Race Engineering Camaro. Picture: InSyde Media

Shane van Gisbergen is the early pace-setter as teams make a tentative start to the Repco Supercars Championship’s official pre-season test at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Rain which had been intermittent overnight and throughout the early morning had stopped again by the time pit lane opened at 08:30 local time/AEDT, at which point five cars went out immediately and another four soon followed.

Red Bull Ampol Racing’s van Gisbergen was among the fastest in the early stages and lowered the benchmark lap time to a 1:42.5942s by the time he pitted at the end of his fifth lap in the #97 Camaro.

Already, misty rain was falling again, but Thomas Randle still improved to second on a 1:43.1627s immediately prior to ending his first run in Tickford Racing’s #55 Castrol Mustang after six laps.

For reference, the fastest lap of a wet-dry Practice 1 at Sydney last year was a 1:33.2091s, although that was set after a switch to slicks.

With half an hour elapsed in the morning test session, Will Davison was third, from Matt Payne, Cameron Waters, James Courtney, Broc Feeney, Anton De Pasquale, and Andre Heimgartner.

Tickford enduro driver James Moffat was 10th in the #56 Tradie Mustang, from which Declan Fraser has been sidelined for the test after coming down with tonsillitis.

Thirteen cars have been on-track thus far, the others being the #96 Brad Jones Racing Camaro and the #23 and #31 PremiAir Racing Camaros.

While all 25 Gen3 cars which will initially roll out in Newcastle have been shaken down, today formally represents the first test day for 16 vehicles.

The morning session at ‘Eastern Creek’ concludes at 12:30 local time/AEDT, with another four hours of track time from 13:00.

Timing with 30 minutes elapsed

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