Jamie Whincup has finished fastest in a Red Bull Holden Racing Team 1-2 after the opening practice session of the Beaurepaires Melbourne 400.
Whincup’s time of a 1m56.4196s was enough to eclipse teammate Shane Van Gisbergen by less than two-tenths.
It was a breezy Thursday that greeted the Supercars paddock who this weekend will play support to the Australian Grand Prix. The 5.02km Albert Park Street Circuit is one of the longest tracks on the calendar and of the most notorious on tyre wear.
This weekend is also marked by the year’s first use of dual tyre compounds. Both the Hard and Soft Dunlop tyre compounds must be used by teams across the weekend’s four races.
Consequently, the pace differential between the two compounds makes it difficult to gauge exactly where each team and driver lies in the competitive pecking order.
Scott Pye brought out the session’s sole red flag. A potential alternator issue caused the Charlie Schwerkolt Racing Commodore to come to a stop at turn eight.
Championship leader Scott McLaughlin enjoyed a strong first outing albeit finishing the session 13th, 1.4 seconds off the session’s fastest lap.
The No.17 Mustang had set two purple sectors on his final lap and was certain to pip the Red Bull pair at the top before backing off into the pitlane.
The Penrite Racing duo was a notable omission from the top of the timesheets. David Reynolds ending the practice session in 18th and two spots clear from teammate Anton De Pasquale.
Alex Davison, who replaces a departing James Courtney at Team Sydney for the remainder of the season, concluded the session down in 23rd.
Practice two gets underway from 3.35 pm NZT.
|1.||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Holden Racing Team|
|2.||Shane Van Gisbergen||Red Bull Holden Racing Team|
|4.||Jack Le Brocq||Tickford|
|5.||Andre Heimgartner||Kelly Racing|
|7.||Fabian Coulthard||DJR Team Penske|
|8.||Rick Kelly||Kelly Racing|
|13.||Scott McLaughlin||DJR Team Penske|
|14.||Chris Pither||Team Sydney|
|16.||Garry Jacobson||Matt Stone Racing|
|18.||David Reynolds||Penrite Racing|
|19||Mark Winterbottom||Team 18|
|20.||Anton De Pasquale||Penrite Racing|
|22.||Jake Kostecki||Matt Stone Racing|
|23.||Alex Davison||Team Sydney|
|24.||Scott Pye||Team 18|