Slade slays record
- By Kassie Gadeke
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
Brad Jones Racing’s newest recruit Tim Slade has recorded the fastest lap record in a Supercar around Winton Motor Raceway in practice, a 1min19.2435.
Slade was fastest in the pre-season test, and broke the 1min19.65 record set by former Freightliner racer Fabian Coulthard in 2014.
Times were expected to tumble this weekend with the resurfaced Winton track, and five drivers went below the previous number with rookie Cameron Waters the first to break the record and the second fastest of the day.
Slade said during the week he was loving life at BJR and seems filled with confidence at a circuit where the cars are usually strong. In 226 race starts, he is yet to take a V8 Supercars win.
He believes cars will be in the ‘18s’ on new tyres at the grippy circuit.
“It makes you feel pretty amazing out there. It’s good fun and encourages you to keep pushing,” Slade said.
“A pretty good session for us, we made plenty of changes … the practice one championship is looking good this year!
“Traditionally the team’s been pretty good here, so we'll see what pans out.”
Scott McLaughlin, James Courtney and Shane van Gisbergen all went below the record and completed the top five.
Todd Kelly’s Altima was sixth, though brother Rick suffered from a clutch issue, the Sengled Nissan spending some time in the garage.
Champion and last year’s Winton winner Mark Winterbottom was 11th, with Craig Lowndes 21st and Will Davison 25th.
The TEKNO team reported no issues, as they worked through different setup changes.
Alex Rullo became the youngest driver to steer a Supercar at a Championship event, the 15-year old driving Andre Heimgartner's LDM Commodore.
One hour-long practice session remains at 4.10pm local time.