Van Gisbergen tops Practice 2 at Newcastle 500

Shane van Gisbergen. Picture: Ross Gibb

Shane van Gisbergen. Picture: Ross Gibb

Shane van Gisbergen has topped Practice 2 at the Thrifty Newcastle 500 as he continued to test the limits of his new Gen3 Chevrolet Camaro Supercar.

The Red Bull Ampol Racing driver had something of a ragged session in Car #97 but still came out on top with a 1:11.7555s, pipping the Shell V-Power Racing Team’s Will Davison by just 0.0374s.

Broc Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol Camaro) made it two Triple Eight Race Engineering entries in the top three, from Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Optus Mustang) and Practice 1 fast man Andre Heimgartner.

The Brad Jones Racing pilot had set the pace in the earlier session on a 1:11.9958s after bolting on new tyres, but he was immediately faster in Practice 2 in clocking a 1:11.9836s in the #8 R&J Batteries Camaro.

Meanwhile, others were already rolling back into pit lane so that their crews could undertake pit stop practice, a task which includes getting accustomed with the new fuel coupling, new spike location, and new wheel nuts.

Davison was next to enjoy a spell on top of the timing screen when he set a 1:11.7929s in the #17 Dick Johnson Racing Mustang in the 19th minute, before Heimgartner came close to improving with a 1:12.0719s and then Feeney slotted into second on a 1:11.8722s.

Van Gisbergen was in the action when he ran long at Cops (Turn 2) in the opening minutes of the session, and later had to catch the #97 Camaro at the Turn 11 hairpin as he played with brake bias.

While the champion does not have all of the old tools at his disposal in a Gen3 car, he was back in a familiar position when he went top with a 1:11.7555s just prior to the half-hour mark.

Van Gisbergen had another minor mishap in the final minutes of the session when he ran long at the first corner of the Newcastle East Street Circuit, but would remain on top of the timing screen.

Mostert, who had earlier been delayed in the WAU garage when his crew encountered difficulty fitting a cold rim to a hot spindle, was on a fast one as the chequered flag came out but traffic down at the hairpin put paid to any chance of him improving.

The top five was thus van Gisbergen, Davison, Feeney on a 1:11.8722s, Mostert on a 1:11.9066s, and Heimgartner, with the top 10 rounded out by Team 18 duo Scott Pye (#20 Hino Camaro) and Mark Winterbottom (#18 DeWalt Camaro), then Anton De Pasquale (#11 Shell V-Power Mustang), Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang), and James Courtney (#5 Snowy River Caravans Mustang).

Todd Hazelwood (#3 CoolDrive Mustang) ended up 18th after a session which included contact with Cameron Hill (#35 Truck Assist Camaro) in his old entry at Turn 11, while the new Matt Stone Racing driver ended up 25th.

Practice 3, another 45-minute session, starts at 15:50 local time/AEDT.

Results: Practice 2

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Fastest lap Split
1 97 Red Bull Ampol Racing Shane van Gisbergen Chev Camaro ZL1 1:11.7555  
2 17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Will Davison Ford Mustang GT 1:11.7929 0:00.0374
3 88 Red Bull Ampol Racing Broc Feeney Chev Camaro ZL1 1:11.8722 0:00.1167
4 25 Mobil 1 Optus Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Mustang GT 1:11.9066 0:00.1511
5 8 R&J Batteries Racing Andre Heimgartner Chev Camaro ZL1 1:11.9836 0:00.2281
6 20 Hino Scott Pye Chev Camaro ZL1 1:12.0478 0:00.2923
7 18 DEWALT Racing Mark Winterbottom Chev Camaro ZL1 1:12.1164 0:00.3609
8 11 Shell V-Power Racing Team Anton De Pasquale Ford Mustang GT 1:12.1501 0:00.3946
9 6 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Mustang GT 1:12.1714 0:00.4159
10 5 Snowy River Racing James Courtney Ford Mustang GT 1:12.2331 0:00.4776
11 96 Pizza Hut Racing Macauley Jones Chev Camaro ZL1 1:12.2339 0:00.4784
12 26 Penrite Racing David Reynolds Ford Mustang GT 1:12.3002 0:00.5447
13 99 Coca-Cola Racing by Erebus Brodie Kostecki Chev Camaro ZL1 1:12.3116 0:00.5561
14 2 Mobil 1 NTI Racing Nick Percat Ford Mustang GT 1:12.4084 0:00.6529
15 400 Nulon Racing Tim Slade Chev Camaro ZL1 1:12.4761 0:00.7206
16 9 Coca-Cola Racing by Erebus William Brown Chev Camaro ZL1 1:12.4938 0:00.7383
17 55 Castrol Racing Thomas Randle Ford Mustang GT 1:12.4945 0:00.7390
18 3 CoolDrive Racing Todd Hazelwood Ford Mustang GT 1:12.6451 0:00.8896
19 14 Middy’s Racing Bryce Fullwood Chev Camaro ZL1 1:12.7471 0:00.9916
20 31 Nulon Racing James Golding Chev Camaro ZL1 1:12.7839 0:01.0284
21 34 Truck Assist Racing Jack Le Brocq Chev Camaro ZL1 1:12.8048 0:01.0493
22 4 SCT Motorsport Jack Smith Chev Camaro ZL1 1:12.8354 0:01.0799
23 19 Penrite Racing Matthew Payne Ford Mustang GT 1:12.9490 0:01.1935
24 56 Tradie Racing Declan Fraser Ford Mustang GT 1:13.1081 0:01.3526
25 35 Truck Assist Racing Cameron Hill Chev Camaro ZL1 1:13.2365 0:01.4810

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