Reynolds fastest, Lowndes crashes in Practice 1
- By Stefan Bartholomaeus
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
David Reynolds proved fastest in an opening practice session for the WD-40 Phillip Island 500 that ended with a big crash for Craig Lowndes.
Lowndes walked away from a heavily damaged TeamVortex Holden after spearing off the road on the high-speed approach to Lukey Heights.
The #888 Commodore ran through the gravel trap before being flung into the air as it struck the tyre wall side-on.
Lowndes immediately reported on his team radio that the “right-front tyre exploded” before heading to the medical centre for precautionary checks.
The incident occurred moments after Fabian Coulthard speared off at Turn 3, running through the gravel before coming to rest before the wall.
Coulthard also reported a suspected front-tyre failure to his Shell V-Power Racing crew before getting out of his Ford.
The session was the first for Dunlop’s 2017 tyres on the punishing Phillip Island circuit.
Morning rain dried up prior to the start of the session, leaving teams to go about their practice programs on the slick rubber.
That didn’t stop several from tasting the outfield early, with separate offs from Cameron Waters and Simona De Silvestro at Turn 2 both requiring the red flags.
Scott Pye enjoyed a spell at the top of the order before his replacement at Shell V-Power Racing, Scott McLaughlin, took over 13 minutes from the end.
That held for 10 minutes before Shane van Gisbergen and eventually Reynolds moved to P1, with the Erebus driver eclipsing his Red Bull rival by just 0.0011s.
Injured driver Will Davison successfully undertook a cockpit exit test prior to the session before completing 17 laps aboard the repaired Tekno Holden.
Eventually ending up fourth in the order, the 34-year-old gave a cautious assessment of his physical condition during the first red flag stoppage.
“I won’t say amazing, but ok,” he said.
“There’s a lot of load through the body here and I could feel it through the high-speed stuff.
“Hopefully it’ll wake the body up a bit and it’ll only get better.
“They car has come out of the truck well which is an amazing job by the team.”
A second 40 minute practice session will take place from 3:15pm local time.
Click here for the full Practice 1 result.