Todd Hazelwood has made the perfect start to his debut weekend in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship at the Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint.
Before moving into his Matt Stone Racing wildcard this afternoon, the 21-year-old topped the additional driver practice session in Brad Jones Racing’s #21 Holden.
Hazelwood jumped to the top of the order halfway through the 30 minutes aboard the Commodore he’ll share with Tim Blanchard in the Pirtek Enduro Cup.
The South Australian’s 1:09.75s proved 0.44s clear of next quickest man Steven Richards aboard Craig Lowndes' #888 Commodore.
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“It was great fun out there, the car was on rails,” said Hazelwood.
“I was very happy with my laps. Obviously I’ve done a lot of laps around this circuit but it was my first time in a BJR chassis (after a brief outing in the wet at Winton).
“It was a lot different to what I’m used to but very enjoyable.”
It was a mixed session for BJR, with its #8 entry spending time in the garage after Macauley Jones encountered an engine problem.
“It didn’t sound good in the car, just coming down into Turn 6 on my first flying lap it started to sound like a lawnmower,” said Jones.
“Something has gone wrong and we’re going to have to assess what the damage is.”
Shae Davies, who does not have a Pirtek Enduro Cup co-drive, put his MW Motorsport wildcard Nissan third – 19 places ahead of team-mate Jack Le Brocq.
“We’ve got a few more resources this weekend so fortunately we had that extra session to try a lot of stuff,” said Davies.
“We went in different directions with our two cars to try and speed up the evaluation process for both of us.”
Luke Youlden (Erebus) and Warren Luff (Mobil 1 HSV) rounded out the top five, with Luff and team-mate Jack Perkins swapping between the #2 and #22 Commodores.
Tony D’Alberto meanwhile steered both of Shell V-Power’s Fords and ended up with a best in the #12 Falcon that was good enough for eighth.
Reigning Bathurst winner Jonathon Webb was 19th in his first drive in an official session for the year in his Tekno Autosports Holden.
Bryce Fullwood (Nissan) and Matt Chahda (LDM), who were both awarded temporary Superlicences to take part in the session, were 10th and 25th respectively.
Chahda had a brief off at Turn 6 late in the going but managed to rejoin the circuit unscathed.