Thomas Randle was quickest in the opening practice session of the weekend for the OTR SuperSprint at The Bend, setting a best lap of 1:50.8386 to top Kiwi Matt Payne by 0.0795 seconds.
Will Davison, Cam Waters and Anton De Pasquale made for an all-Mustang top five, with Red Bull’s Broc Feeney the first of the Camaros in sixth.
New Zealand’s Andre Heimgartner was the eighth quickest, while Shane van Gisbergen struggled with power steering difficulties and was unable to set a competitive time.
Van Gisbergen took to the track early but quickly returned to the lane, the team having to investigate the problem. The defending champion is still running in the Triple Eight wildcard chassis, given handling issues in his usual one.
Waters was the driver who set the benchmark in the opening 15 minutes, his early 1:51.2249 topping the leaderboard as the session entered its second half. Anton De Pasquale, Feeney, Payne and Randle rounded out the top five, Feeney being the sole Camaro.
Van Gisbergen returned to the track with 15 minutes to run, completing another two laps before entering the garage again.
Randle was the first to better Waters’ time as the session entered the final 12 minutes, a 1:50.8386 topping his teammate by over four-tenths. Waters responded with a 1:51.1212 to cement second, while Payne continued his great pace in setting a 1:51.3181 to slot into third.
The field returned to the lane en masses in the final ten minutes before the session burst to life in the closing stages. Van Gisbergen was the only driver to remain in the lane, sitting out the rest of the session, having only run four laps.
Payne’s final lap saw him become the second driver to go under the 1:51 mark, his 1:50.9181 falling just 0.0795 seconds shy of Randle’s session-best time.
Davison’s last lap, at 1:51.0667, saw him jump to third as the chequered flag flew, while Waters and De Pasquale failed to improve and finished with the fourth and fifth-best times, respectively.
Feeney was the fastest of the Camaros, half a second off Randle’s time to sit sixth. James Courtney was seventh, ahead of Heimgartner, championship leader Brodie Kostecki and David Reynolds, who rounded out the top ten.
Supercars return for second practice at 2.10 pm, ahead of three-part qualifying at 4.10 pm. Today’s sole race begins at 7.00 pm. All sessions are shown live on Sky Sport 5.
Header Image: Penrite Racing