No less than half a dozen Kiwis began a bumper weekend of action in Perth on Friday, all showing great pace in their respective classes.
Shane van Gisbergen, Andre Heimgartner and Matt Payne all got some solid track time in a 90-minute Supercars practice session, with Heimgartner the best of the Kiwis with the seventh fastest time overall.
Payne also made a statement in his Penrite Racing entry, setting the ninth-fastest lap of the session. Van Gisbergen could only manage the 14th best time but experienced issues with his car.
“It was a tough session for us, van Gisbergen sai”. “We had quite a few problems with the car throughout the session, which was a real shame, but the crew worked hard to get those problems sorted”
“In saying that, we were fortunate that this practice session was 90 minutes long because it allowed us to return to the garage and fix those problems and actually understand what was going on without time constraints. If we had similar issues today in our normal 30-minute practice sessions, then we would have hardly had any track time today, there’se’s a positive ther”.
“The margins across the field are super tight, we’ll’ll debrief tonight and make some changes for qualifying tomorr”w.”
Ford filled seven of the top 10 spots, with David Reynolds setting the fastest time of 54.5285 seconds, just .0348 seconds faster than Todd Hazlewood.
Ryan Wood looks strong in Super2 despite never having driven on the track before. The Walkinshaw Andretti United driver finished second in both practice runs, putting in 20 laps to fall .0302 seconds short of top spot in the first session. He was also just one-tenth off Brad Vaughan in Practice 2, completing a further 22 laps.
Matthew McCutcheon overcame early powersteering issues in Practice 1 to hit the track for some late laps. The 20-year-old only needed 12 laps to set the fifth fastest time of the Super3 competitors. McCutcheon ran Practice 2 problem free, managing to complete 26 laps for the fifth fastest time.
Richie Stanaway is making quick progress in getting gup to speed in Triple Eight’s Mercedes AMG GT3, getting run time in both practice sessions for the GT World Challenge Australia.
Sharing the drive with Prince Jefri Ibrahim, Stanaway topped his teammate in both runs, ending Practice 1 fifth on the timesheet before improving in Practice 2 to end up second.
A big weekend of action continues in Perth on Saturday, with Kiwis qualifying and racing in each of Supercars, Super2/3 and the GT World Challenge Australia.
Information on what times they’re competing and how you can watch can be found in our weekly Motorsport Diary.
Header Image: Brad Jones Racing