Kostecki fastest in Tasmania Supercars Practice 1

Brodie Kostecki set the pace in Supercars Championship Practice 1 at Symmons Plains. Picture: InSyde Media

Brodie Kostecki set the pace in Supercars Championship Practice 1 at Symmons Plains. Picture: InSyde Media

Supercars Championship leader Brodie Kostecki has set the pace in his Erebus Motorsport Camaro in Practice 1 at the Ned Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint.

Kostecki (#99 Coca-Cola Camaro) clocked a 0:51.0147s seconds before the chequered flag at Symmons Plains to earn early bragging rights, with Tickford Racing’s James Courtney next on a 0:51.1632s in the #5 Snowy River Caravans Ford Mustang.

Fords filled positions two through five, with Todd Hazelwood (#3 CoolDrive Mustang) third-quickest, from Will Davison (#17 Shell V-Power Mustang) and Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang).

The next six on the timesheet were Chevrolet drivers, namely Will Brown (#9 Coca-Cola Camaro), Shane van Gisbergen (#97 Red Bull Ampol Camaro), Mark Winterbottom (#18 DeWalt Camaro), Jack Smith (#4 SCT Logistics Camaro), Broc Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol Camaro), and Andre Heimgartner (#8 R&J Batteries Camaro).

A particularly cold morning greeted the Repco Supercars Championship field, with the ambient four degrees Celsius and the ‘feels like’ being 0.6C at the start of the 30-minute session, at 09:00 local time.

With the vast majority rolling out on new tyres, the frigid weather was reflected in the timesheets, with Kostecki fastest after the first flyers on only a 0:56.1008s, before Erebus team-mate Brown moved the marker to a 0:52.4367s next time through.

Tickford Racing’s Waters then took over the ascendancy with a 0:51.8369s, a 0:51.3390s, and then a 0:51.2577s before pitting to bring an end to his first run.

At that point, three Ford drivers were covered by less than half a tenth of a second, with Dick Johnson Racing’s Davison on a 0:51.2730s and Courtney on a 0:51.2988s.

Kostecki had just moved to fourth on a 0:51.3983s when he had a minor moment on his second run, running long at Brambles Hairpin (Turn 4) but pulling up just shy of the gravel.

Van Gisbergen took new front springs for his second run and moved up to fifth with a 0:51.4341s, before Heimgartner also ran somewhat long at Brambles.

Minutes later, Scott Pye (#20 East Coast Car Rentals Camaro) and Bryce Fullwood (#14 Middy’s Camaro) strayed over the white line at the hairpin, with the former nosing into the gravel trap and picking up some stones.

Meanwhile, back in pit lane, the Triple Eight Race Engineering crew fetched a fire extinguisher to deal with a smoking chunk of rubber under Broc Feeney’s #88 Camaro.

New tyres were the popular choice for the final minutes of the session as teams went for qualifying simulations, and the timing screen lit up again in the final 30 seconds before the chequered flag.

Davison went quickest on a 0:51.2071s, before Kostecki climbed three positions to the 0:51.0147s which would prove the benchmark.

With the chequers unfurled, Courtney moved up to second and Hazelwood vaulted from 21st to third on a 0:51.1942s.

Walkinshaw Andretti United ended up 16th and 18th respectively, with Nick Percat (#2 Mobil 1 NTI Mustang) on a 0:51.6237s and Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil1  Optus Mustang) on a 0:51.6965s.

As previously reported, the Mustangs completed the session with any of three different maps as Supercars continues to work with the Ford camp to achieve engine parity.

Practice 2, another half-hour hit-out, is due to start at 10:55 local time/AEST.

Full Practice results here.

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