David Reynolds has topped the opening practice session of the Superloop Adelaide 500.
The first practice session of the year is always indicative of which teams will be competitive over the season, and it seems little has changed at the top of the pecking order over the off-season.
Reynolds’ time of a 1.20.6864 was a mere 0.0098s faster than second-place Van Gisbergen.
Erebus teammate Anton De Pasquale had a more frustrating session, wrestling the #99 Penrite Racing Commodore across the Senna Chicane, cutting the complex on more than one occasion as he suffered from a poor-handling car.
Defending champion Scott McLaughlin and DJR Team Penske teammate Fabian Coulthard both ensconcing themselves within the top ten at the chequered flag in sixth and seventh respectively.
Though Coulthard did suffer a significant double-front lockup upon entering the hairpin, ruling out his fastest lap.
Rick Kelly was quite literally running on empty early on the session as fuel was observed spilling out from the side of the Castrol Mustang.
Kelly’s day didn’t improve when he hit the wall at Turn 8, miraculously escaping with only body panel damage.
Supercars journeyman Nick Percat also flirted with danger by rubbing up against the wall at Turn 8, clipping off the wing mirror.
Shane Van Gisbergen then made a mistake on one of his flying laps, running down the Wakefield Street escape road.
Nonetheless, the Triple Eight duo seemingly competitive from the onset with Van Gisbergen and Whincup both residing in the top ten all session. Whincup eventually finishing in ninth.
Chaz Mostert’s first proper outing in Walkinshaw Andretti colours was strong. Despite having an excursion down the escape road with ten minutes remaining, Mostert finished as the third fastest Commodore 0.1412s off the fastest lap time.
The session was then cut short five minutes from the finish as Lee Holdsworth and Garry Jacobson narrowly avoided an enormous accident when both collected each other at Turn 4.
Holdsworth came across a slowing Jacobson, running into the side of the Commodore. Both cars suffered damage but should be fully repaired and back out for the second practice session tomorrow morning.
The consequent red flag hindered any green-tyre running from all teams, thus expect there to be more time to be found across the field as the weekend goes on.
Practice two of the Virgin Australian Supercars championship will take place tomorrow from 2.35 pm NZT.