Mostert back at successful track

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 26/08/2016
  • By Kassie Gadeke

Chaz Mostert has topped practice one at the place where he won two of three races last year.

The Supercheap Auto racer, who is chasing his first win of 2016, dialled in his 1min30.3346 on his 11th lap in the hour-long session, to top Tim Slade by 0.1120sec.

Darwin race winner Michael Caruso was close behind in third, with Scott McLaughlin, Rick Kelly and Jamie Whincup behind.

Mostert’s Prodrive team tested in the lead-up to this event, but it was too early to tell if any changes would make a difference this weekend.

“That practice one was all about what tyres, we were on hards most of the session then banged some softs on … I think the other guys ran softs quite early,” Mostert said after the session.  

“it was good confidence building … need to work on a few things but it’s going to be so tight this weekend.

“The car feels like it turns a little better for us which is something we’ve been working on, but it could just be better tyres.”

Three new cars debuted in the session, with Lee Holdsworth returning from injury to run a handful of laps in the new Preston Hire racer, Garth Tander on track with a new chassis and Jamie Whincup happy with ‘Alana’, which he shook down at Lakeside last week in his first steer at the circuit.

Whincup was out of his car before the end of the session with rain hitting with six minutes remaining.

“We probably could’ve put wets on actually and did some laps,” he said.

“All in all, I’ve got a new car this weekend, feels good and makes me smile. Don’t know if it will be quicker yet.

“I did 10 laps just before the weekend to iron out the electrical issues and ergonomics to make sure I’m comfy. Couldn’t be happier.”

Tander believed his car was more responsive to change than his old chassis, a positive for the HRT racer.

Craig Lowndes had a scare early on with smoke puffing from the left rear of his TeamVortex Commodore, though engineer Ludo Lacroix reported there was no issue. Defending champ Mark Winterbottom had some wild moments and finished the session 10th.

A number of co-drivers notched up some laps early in the session with Cameron McConville (LDM), Matt Campbell (carsales), Tony D’Alberto (DJR Team Penske #17) and Luke Youlden (DJRTP #12) turning laps.

Click here for full results.

The Supercars have another hour-long practice session at 4pm local time. Holdsworth is expected to jump back in the car for another short run after feeling comfortable on return from injury.  

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