Bathurst 1000 wrap: Kiwis star in wet Thursday practice
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Thursday's Virgin Australia Supercars Championship practice has been run and won at the Bathurst 1000 ... but how much any of it actually means remains to be seen.
The entire day has seen rain pelt the Mount Panorama facility. And with dry conditions reportedly on the radar for the rest of the week and weekend, not much relevant set-up development was set to take place.
What underlined this best was the decision from Red Bull drivers Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell (fresh from winning the Sandown 500) to sit out practice two and practice three.
“We’ve got a program this weekend,” Whincup said.
“There were a couple of items we could tick off in P1, but there was no purpose in going out in P2 or P3. Tomorrow is going to be dry, so we’ll go out and try and tick off the rest of our program.”
Unsurprisingly, the day generated some curious results across the three sessions. Practice one was topped by the 23 Red Racing Ford Falcon of Will Davison. Alexandre Premat (Scott McLaughlin's co-driver) then led practice two — a session exclusively for co-drivers. And then Kiwi Richie Stanaway scooped his first practice P1 of 2018 in practice three.
Footage of Stanaway's hottest lap can be viewed above.
Despite the torrid conditions, there were no big on-track incidents. There was just one red flag across the three sessions, and it was only for reported wildlife (an kangaroo apparently) on the race track.
The 2:25.0243 that Davison set to lead practice one was the fastest Supercars time of the day, and helped underline strong pace from Ford teams. The top Holden in all practice sessions was that of Shane van Gisbergen and Earl Bamber — and seventh in the first, third in the second, and fifth in the final.
Curiously, only four other Holdens made an appearance in the top 10 at any point in the practice results — the cars in question being those of David Reynolds/Luke Youlden, Tim Blanchard/Dale Wood, Tim Slade/Ash Walsh, and Craig Lowndes/Steve Richards. Other than them, it was a lean day of driving for the Holden contingent. Perhaps they're saving themselves for tomorrow's dry running.
But really, the happy story of the day was Stanaway.
“It’s obviously been a disappointing season, but when the conditions are a bit mixed you can kind of capitalise, so it was nice to do that today,” he said.
“It’s been frustrating, but I’m pretty patient, the guys at the top have taken five or 10 years to get there.
“The team is working hard and we’ve got a new car next year, so hopefully we can have some dry pace as well."
Practice 1 results (top 10)
|1. Will Davison||2:25.0243|
|2. Chaz Mostert||+0.5145|
|3. Andre Heimgartner/Aaren Russell||+0.6901|
|4. Michael Caruso||+0.6930|
|5. Mark Winterbottom/Dean Canto||+0.7115|
|6. Fabian Coulthard||+0.8962|
|7. Shane van Gisbergen/Earl Bamber||+1.3334|
|8. Simona De Silvestro||+1.5195|
|9. Scott Pye||+1.6440|
|10. Jamie Whincup||+1.6447|
Practice 2 results (top 10)
|1. Alex Premat||2:35.1824|
|2. Garry Jacobson||+0.6437|
|3. Earl Bamber||+1.4479|
|4. Dean Canto||+1.5961|
|5. Tony D'Alberto||+1.5977|
|6. Dale Wood||+2.4699|
|7. David Russell||+2.6148|
|8. Luke Youlden||+2.6289|
|9. Steve Richards||+3.0664|
|10. James Moffat||+3.5689|
Practice 3 results (top 10)
|1. Richie Stanaway||2:29.0174|
|2. Fabian Coulthard/Tony D'Alberto||+0.1254|
|3. Scott McLaughlin||+0.5529|
|4. Chaz Mostert||+0.7067|
|5. Shane van Gisbergen||+0.8764|
|6. Cameron Waters||+1.1300|
|7. Tim Slade||+1.5824|
|8. Michael Caruso||+1.8474|
|9. Craig Lowndes||+1.9899|
|10. Simona De Silvestro||+1.9954|