Nissan 1-2 in Sydney morning test session

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 16/02/2018
  • By Mitchell Adam

Michael Caruso led a Nissan one-two in the morning session of Supercars’ pre-season test at Sydney Motorsport Park.

All 26 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship entries, including 13 new chassis, are in action today ahead of the season opener in Adelaide in a fortnight.

Nissan leads the way after the first three-and-a-half hours of running, having sat atop the times for the bulk of the morning.

Click here for full results

Kelly set the early pace with a 1:29.2130s set on his fourth flying lap, while Caruso made his move in the second hour in his new Altima that also sports new colours.

Caruso’s 1:29.1794s was ultimately just 0.0036 seconds clear, with the Nissans four tenths up on the next-best driver, Fabian Coulthard in his new Shell V-Power Racing Falcon.

Debuting his new-look Altima, Caruso confirmed to that his time was done on a new set of super-soft compound tyres.

“We obviously had a plan when we came here to run through a program of different items to try," he said.

"I’m not watching the timesheets because that’s all irrelevant until we get to Adelaide.

"We still need to analyse what we’ve gone through, but it’s obviously a good way to start."

Caruso added that Turn 1 is more enjoyable for the drivers this year following recent resurfacing.

"It’s much better. It’s awesome because you’re it’s much faster," he said of the high-speed left-hander.

"Outside of that, given the heat, the rest of the track isn’t what we’re used to, it’s a bit down on grip compared to the middle of the year.

"But the thing to focus on today is getting ready with this tyre ahead of Adelaide."

Coulthard’s team-mate Scott McLaughlin was 15th at lunch, while Triple Eight had a quiet morning other than Shane van Gisbergen’s confrontation with Jonathon Webb.

Craig Lowndes led the way for Triple Eight in sixth, with van Gisbergen 18th and Jamie Whincup at the foot of the order as the team settles into its new ZB Commodore.

The top ZB in the order was David Reynolds’ Erebus entry in fourth, having lost a door skin midway through the morning, followed by Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Scott Pye and Lowndes.

Tekno’s Jack Le Brocq finished as the leading rookie at lunch in seventh place, two spots ahead of Anton De Pasquale, with Todd Hazelwood 14th, James Golding 24th and Richie Stanaway 25th.

James Courtney joined team-mate Pye in the top 10 in eighth, while Will Davison is 10th after his first running with the new 23Red Racing.

A number of PIRTEK Enduro Cup drivers have turned laps, including Dunlop Super2 Series driver Will Brown in Reynolds' Erebus Commodore.

New recruit James Moffat and Dean Canto have appeared for Tickford Racing.

While the Ford team has not commented on its pairings, Moffat is expected to team up with Chaz Mostert and drove the Supercheap Auto Falcon, while Canto was again with Mark Winterbottom.

Webb completed a handful of laps in Le Brocq’s Tekno ZB, and Macauley Jones stepped into Nick Percat’s Brad Jones Racing Commodore as the lunchbreak approached.

More co-drivers are expected to sample their 2018 Enduro Cup rides this afternoon's four-hour session.

Stay In The Know
Sign up to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Newsletter