Heimgartner fastest in Supercars Practice 1 in Newcastle

Andre Heimgartner. Picture: Ross Gibb

Andre Heimgartner. Picture: Ross Gibb

Brad Jones Racing’s Andre Heimgartner has set the fastest lap in the first ever practice session for the Gen3 Supercars, at the Thrifty Newcastle 500.

With a set of green tyres on the #8 R&J Batteries Chevrolet Camaro, the New Zealander clocked a 1:11.9958s which ended up being the fastest lap of Practice 1 for the Repco Supercars Championship field by 0.1813s.

Erebus Motorsport’s Will Brown set a subsequent 1:12.1771s in the #9 Coca-Cola Camaro, with Grove Racing’s David Reynolds first of the Ford contingent in third on the timesheet on a 1:12.1979s in the #26 Penrite Mustang.

At the start of the 45-minute session, Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert laid down a 1:14.4467s on his first flying lap in the #25 Mobil 1 Optus Mustang and was still quickest when he set a 1:13.3132s next time around.

That remained the benchmark until Brown set a 1:13.2424s during his second run but he was quickly usurped by Reynolds, who achieved a 1:13.1844s and a 1:13.1275s on back-to-back laps.

It was another Ford driver who was next to move the marker, WAU’s Nick Percat setting a 1:13.110s in the #2 Mobil 1 NTI Mustang, before Heimgartner put the R&J Batteries machine on top with a 1:13.084s just past the half-hour point.

Then it was the turn of the 2021 and 2022 champion, Shane van Gisbergen, to reset the fastest lap when he drove the #97 Red Bull Ampol Camaro to a 1:13.0103s with 10 minutes to go, before Mostert was first into the twelves with a 1:12.9672s.

However, Heimgartner had just taken a new set of soft tyres and he bolted to a 1:11.9958s with six minutes to go.

Brown then set the 1:12.1771s with two minutes to go, before just keeping Car #9 off the barriers when he locked up at Turn 2, or Cops, on his following lap.

Reynolds ended up third for the session, from WAU team-mates Percat and Mostert, then PremiAir Racing team-mates James Golding (#31 Nulon Camaro) and Tim Slade (#400 Nulon Camaro), BJR’s Bryce Fullwood (#14 Middy’s Camaro), Will Davison (#17 Shell V-Power Mustang), and Mark Winterbottom (#18 DeWalt Camaro).

Van Gisbergen was classified 11th at just over a second off the pace, with Anton De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Mustang) 14th and Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang) in 19th.

Turn 2/Cops was a hotspot throughout the session.

Heimgartner had an early journey up the run-off area at the top of Watt Street before he was emulated by Broc Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol Camaro), Waters, Macauley Jones (#96 Pizza Hut Camaro), Matt Payne (#19 Penrite Mustang), and Jack Le Brocq (#34 Truck Assist Camaro).

Practice 2, another 45-minute session but with the option of refuelling, starts at 13:45 local time/AEDT.

Results: Practice 1

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 8 R&J Batteries Racing Andre Heimgartner Chev Camaro ZL1 1:11.9958  
2 9 Coca-Cola Racing by Erebus William Brown Chev Camaro ZL1 1:12.1771 0:00.1813
3 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 1:12.1979 0:00.2021
4 2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing Nick Percat Ford Mustang GT 1:12.5000 0:00.5042
5 25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Mustang GT 1:12.6763 0:00.6805
6 31 Nulon Racing James Golding Chev Camaro ZL1 1:12.6868 0:00.6910
7 400 Nulon Racing Tim Slade Chev Camaro ZL1 1:12.8756 0:00.8798
8 14 Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Chev Camaro ZL1 1:12.8930 0:00.8972
9 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 1:12.9190 0:00.9232
10 18 DEWALT Racing Mark Winterbottom Chev Camaro ZL1 1:12.9934 0:00.9976
11 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Shane van Gisbergen Chev Camaro ZL1 1:13.0103 0:01.0145
12 96 Pizza Hut Racing Macauley Jones Chev Camaro ZL1 1:13.1013 0:01.1055
13 34 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Chev Camaro ZL1 1:13.2234 0:01.2276
14 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 1:13.3157 0:01.3199
15 19 Penrite Racing Matthew Payne Ford Mustang GT 1:13.3536 0:01.3578
16 35 Truck Assist Racing Cameron Hill Chev Camaro ZL1 1:13.3655 0:01.3697
17 99 Coca-Cola Racing by Erebus Brodie Kostecki Chev Camaro ZL1 1:13.3875 0:01.3917
18 20 Hino Scott Pye Chev Camaro ZL1 1:13.4281 0:01.4323
19 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 1:13.5606 0:01.5648
20 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Broc Feeney Chev Camaro ZL1 1:13.5803 0:01.5845
21 3 CoolDrive Racing Todd Hazelwood Ford Mustang GT 1:13.6704 0:01.6746
22 4 SCT Motorsport Jack Smith Chev Camaro ZL1 1:13.7524 0:01.7566
23 5 Snowy River Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 1:13.7680 0:01.7722
24 56 Tradie Racing Declan Fraser Ford Mustang GT 1:14.2408 0:02.2450
25 55 Castrol Racing Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 1:14.4254 0:02.4296

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