Drivers will meet tricky conditions on practice day at the Winton 360, after rain early this morning in Victoria.
The forecast shows the weather is likely to pass, but today could give co-drivers valuable experience in the new generation V8 Supercars on a wet track.
A handful of teams are without their co-drivers this weekend for what is their final run before the first event of the PIRTEK Enduro Cup, the Wilson Security Sandown 500.
Alex Davison’s partner John McIntyre, TEKNO Autosports’ Marc Lieb and Jeroen Bleekemolen, and Russell Ingall’s partner Ryan Briscoe will miss the session – as will Matt Halliday, partner of Dean Fiore.
Dodo Insurance racer Fiore is confident Halliday will be up to speed for the enduros, and doesn’t feel there is a disadvantage.
In fact, Fiore – who topped the third practice session at Winton last year – feels he will be sharper behind the wheel with time in wet conditions.
“The wet levels it out, in terms of equipment and everything … what it also does is just sharpen you up overall. I always feel a bit sharper after driving in the wet,” the West Australian told v8supercars.com.au.
There has only been one wet race this year – at the Formula One Rolex Australian Grand Prix (pictured) in March. But Fiore doesn’t think that will matter.
“If you’ve got a handle on the cars in the dry, you should be able to drive them in the wet. All of us are pretty experienced campaigners, so it’s nothing new for us.
“I think it’d be good, to be honest. As the years roll on, we don’t get enough wet racing. I think wet racing’s really cool, so looking forward to it.”
And while he hasn’t had the experience at the circuit as some Victorian racers, Fiore knows his way around and has enjoyed a test day since the last event.
“It’s always good to get a test day under your belt before you race at a place.
“I wouldn’t mind getting a bit of slick running today to tune ourselves up if there does happen to be a wet race.”
Fiore’s confident Halliday – who paired with him in 2012 – will have enough time in the Holden Commodore VF.
“That’s what I learnt at DJR last year – they (co-drivers) don’t need many miles. And sure enough he came over and didn’t need many laps at all to get used to it.
“This car should be even easier for him to get used to. He’s been in the seat, racing in the Audi overseas, so it’s not as if he’s not race fit.
“Matt will come over and in a couple of sessions he’ll be right.”
First practice started at 11.05am AEST, with the first 30 minutes reserved for additional drivers only.