Dick Johnson Racing’s Anton De Pasquale has topped the first Supercars practice session of the Bunnings Trade Sydney SuperNight weekend, edging Cameron Waters and Todd Hazelwood in the closing seconds.
Shane van Gisbergen led much of the 40-minute session, only to drop late as others bolted on new sets of tyres. He ended up seventh and second quickest of the Kiwi contingent behind Andre Heimgartner in fifth.
Van Gisbergen spent much of the session at the top of the timesheets, with a 1:31.184 good enough to see the Kiwi hold the lead approaching the last 10 minutes of the session, over Hazelwood, De Pasquale, Jamie Whincup, and Heimgartner with 13 minutes left on the clock.
It looked like De Pasquale would topple the Kiwi off the top spot barely a minute later, but a mistake in the final corner saw him instead only jump the other Red Bull entry of Whincup.
As the final five minutes arrived, most of the field geared up for one or two last attempts at the clock and a qualifying simulation to boot. Van Gisbergen was on track, but elected not to take on a new set of tyres.
Both he and Whincup made errors in the closing minutes; van Gisbergen making a mistake in the inner loop and Whincup running a touch wide at the high-speed turn one.
This opened the door for Waters and his fresh tyre set to set a sharp time. The Monster Mustang pilot jumped from well outside the top 10 to finally remove van Gisbergen from the top thanks to a 1:30.609.
Waters wouldn’t top the session, though. That honour would go to De Pasquale; the Shell V-Power Racing ace firing in a late 1:30.281.
There was plenty of chopping and changing throughout the top 10 in the dying moments, resulting in van Gisbergen getting shuffled from first down to seventh in short time.
Behind De Pasquale and Waters, Todd Hazelwood, Mark Winterbottom, and Heimgartner completed the top five. Then it was Brodie Kostecki and van Gisbergen, with Macauley Jones, Will Davison, and Jack Le Brocq completing the top 10.
The series now prepares for practice two, which will take place later tonight under lights.