Best fastest in opening Super2 practice at Newcastle

Zak Best was fastest in Super2 practice in Newcastle

Zak Best was fastest in Super2 practice in Newcastle. Picture: Ross Gibb

Zak Best ended the opening Dunlop Super2 Series practice session of the weekend fastest around the streets of Newcastle.

The Ford Mustang driver headed Kai Allen at the end of a 50-minute hit out that was twice interrupted by red flags.

Jack Perkins was third fastest, while Jobe Stewart topped the Super3 pack.

Rookie running

The opening 10 minutes session was restricted to rookies, a total of 16 drivers across both Super2 and Super3.

On the run-up Watt Street, Lochie Dalton ran deep at Turn 2, Cops, parking in the escape road before getting back on track.

The top end of the timesheets was a fruit machine in the early minutes, Ryan Wood emerging fastest after his first flying lap with a 1:17.0933s.

Brad Vaughan went fastest after an aggressive lap which saw him run wide exiting the hairpin towards the end of the lap, getting out into the grey and gently brushing the wall as the rear stepped out in protest.

He managed a 1:16.1687s which was quickly bested by Wood who improved to 1:15.7120s.

The rookie benchmark was lowered further to 1:15.5423s by Cooper Murray.

Aaron Love had been in the lane, the inside wall of one of his left-rear tyre damaged by suspected overuse of the kerbs.

All in

After 10 minutes, the remainder of the field ventured out.

There was a moment for Jason Gomersall who missed his braking marker at Cops, taking to the escape road.

He was followed in by Chris Smerdon, with Gomersall rolling back down the hill towards the race track, colliding with a fence and damaging the rear of the Commodore in the process.

Two-thirds of a lap ahead, Wood punched a brake at Turn 12, pulling out of the left-hander and turning right through the run-off to avoid the wall.

A locked brake for Ryan Gilroy saw the #89 run deep into the first corner, heading into the escape road.

Gomersall was again in the wars when Jay Hanson looked to move past the Commodore driver only for the door to be shut.

Red flag

With 31 minutes remaining, Aaron Seton nosed into the tyres exiting Turn 6 to draw the red flag.

The third-generation racer took too much kerb, sending him wide, burying the nose under the tyre wall.

Under the stoppage, Gomersall’s session came to an end when the team was able to assess the damage to the rear wing on his car.

The damage from rolling into the barrier at Cops had damaged the boot lid that was unable to latch as a result.

Throughout the red flag, the clock continued to tick down, restarting with just over 23 minutes remaining.

Green flag

Once running resumed, Best improved on his earlier effort to record a 1:13.3894s, leaving him 0.6745s quicker than Vaughan.

Jett Johnson sat as the leading Super3 driver, 15th overall with a 1:15.6527s.

With 16 minutes to run, Perkins slotted into second with a 1:13.8056s moments after Gilroy again found the escape road at Turn 1.

Kai Allen then bumped Perkins to slot into second-best with a 1:13.6396s.

Conditions were improving but remained slippery, Zane Morse lucky to stay out of the fence at Turn 6 after getting too much kerbing.

Second interruption

The sessions’ second red flag was called when Vaughan parked his car in the escape road at Cops.

He’d locked the rear wheels, at turn-in to slide long, getting stuck when trying to get the car back on track.

The session did not resume, officials opting to declare it with three minutes remaining.

That left Best at the top of the timesheets from Allen and Perkins, with Jobe Stewart the fastest of the Super3 runners.

The Super2 Series returns to the streets of Newcastle at 12:50 AEDT for another 40 minutes of practice – the category’s final running before qualifying on Saturday morning.

Results: Practice 1

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Cls Fastest lap Split
1 17 Anderson Motorsport Zak Best Ford Mustang GT S2 1:13.3894  
2 26 Eggleston Motorsport Kai Allen Holden Commodore ZB S2 1:13.6396 0:00.2502
3 70 Shaw and Partners Racing Jack Perkins Holden Commodore ZB S2 1:13.7438 0:00.3544
4 18 Cavalier Homes Matthew Chahda Holden Commodore ZB S2 1:13.8215 0:00.4321
5 88 Eggleston Motorsport Cooper Murray Holden Commodore ZB S2 1:13.9088 0:00.5194
6 2 Walkinshaw Andretti United Ryan Wood Holden Commodore ZB S2 1:13.9900 0:00.6006
7 5 Dormer HVAC Services Brad Vaughan Ford Mustang GT S2 1:14.0639 0:00.6745
8 25 Walkinshaw Andretti United Zach Bates Holden Commodore ZB S2 1:14.2943 0:00.9049
9 49 Cowbiz Jay Hanson Holden Commodore ZB S2 1:14.3188 0:00.9294
10 38 Eggleston Motorsport Cameron Crick Holden Commodore ZB S2 1:14.3359 0:00.9465
11 78 Petronas Motorsport Aaron Love Ford Mustang GT S2 1:14.4617 0:01.0723
12 54 Eggleston Motorsport Jordyn Sinni Holden Commodore ZB S2 1:14.5744 0:01.1850
13 3 MW Motorsport Jaylyn Robotham Ford Mustang GT S2 1:14.6547 0:01.2653
14 11 Turps Tippers Zane Morse Ford Mustang GT S2 1:14.6739 0:01.2845
15 43 AWC Motorsport Lachlan Dalton Holden Commodore ZB S2 1:14.8522 0:01.4628
16 999 Image Racing Jobe Stewart Holden Commodore VF S3 1:14.9996 0:01.6102
17 92 Ryan McLeod Racing Cars Cameron McLeod Nissan Altima S3 1:15.4755 0:02.0861
18 117 NAPA Auto Parts Jett Johnson Nissan Altima S3 1:15.6527 0:02.2633
19 67 World Gym Racing Nash Morris Holden Commodore ZB S2 1:15.6946 0:02.3052
20 97 Eggleston Motorsport Matthew McCutcheon Holden Commodore VF S3 1:15.8606 0:03.4712
21 89 Bowers Heavy Haulage Ryan Gilroy Holden Commodore VF S3 1:15.8816 0:03.4922
22 22 Kelly Racing Mason Kelly Nissan Altima S3 1:16.0014 0:03.6120
23 6 Steeline Elly Morrow Ford Mustang GT S2 1:16.4417 0:03.0523
24 30 Gomersall Motorsport Aaron Seton Holden Commodore ZB S2 1:16.7468 0:03.3574
25 33 Cylinder Head Warehouse Callum Walker Holden Commodore ZB S2 1:18.1846 0:04.7952
26 39 Matt Stone Racing Chris Smerdon Holden Commodore VF S3 1:18.4025 0:05.0131
27 7 Mocomm Motorsport Comms Jim Pollicina Holden Commodore VE2 S3 1:18.8581 0:05.4687
28 219 Masterton Motorsport James Masterton Ford Mustang GT S2 1:19.7011 0:06.3117
29 35 Gomersall Motorsport Jason Gomersall Holden Commodore VF S3 1:24.0887 0:10.6993

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