Shane van Gisbergen says he is still hurting from his broken collarbone despite completing a successful first practice at Sandown.
Both the Kiwi and Red Bull Racing remained tight-lipped on whether he would drive this weekend. Garth Tander had been called on standby in case van Gisbergen was forced to sit out.
However, after passing the medical examination this morning, van Gisbergen rolled out for practice one where he was largely competitive.
He spent most of the session at the top of the leader board after an early benchmark time. He would ultimately finish eighth quickest with teammate Jamie Whincup finishing the session with the fastest time.
Despite his strong showing, van Gisbergen says he is still in a some degree of pain from his injury. Still, he believes he can get through the entire weekend.
“It’s painful but I can get around,” he said after opening practice.
“It’s as I hoped, so I can drive and I’m not thinking about the pain.
“It’s hurting the ribs a bit but I’m driving with a clear head, which is good.”
Van Gisbergen underwent several pre-race checks with Supercars Medical Delegate Dr Carl Le to anyalse the strength of the collarbone, which was hurt in a mountain biking accident.
Triple Eight Race Engineering physio Chris Brady said he expected van Gisbergen to experience some level of pain, adding he is comfortable of which areas of the injury are still sore.
“He just said he was sore, which is what we expected him to be,” Brady said. “The good news is he’s sore in the places we are OK with and he’s not sore in the places we would be worried about.
“We don’t want him to be sore at all anywhere near the bone but we’re really comfortable that he’s sore in all the muscles.”
Supercars will have one final practice at 1.30pm NZT before qualifying and race three of the championship this afternoon.