Supercars rookie Alex Rullo declared himself pleased with his opening day at the Clipsal 500 despite an early tangle with the tyre barriers.
The 16-year-old brought out the only red flag of the day when he slid wide into the tyre wall at the exit of Turn 5 in second practice.
Although needing to be pulled out of the fence, Rullo was able to drive the car back to the garage and returned to the track later in the session following minor repairs.
“I just lost the rear on entry,” he told Supercars.com of the incident.
“I thought I had it but it hit the kerb, the rear gripped up and it sent me into the wall.
“It was one of those minor things that happen for any driver.
“You just brush it off and keep going.”
Rullo ended all three sessions at the foot of the timesheets, finishing the afternoon’s qualifying 3.7s adrift of Shane van Gisbergen’s provisional pole winning pace.
Eager not to hold up the rest of the field, the Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport Holden driver elected not to return to the track when others set out for their final run.
“I don’t want to get in anyone’s way, I respect all the other guys,” he said when asked of how he’ll approach the races.
“If we’re a fair bit off then I’ll just let the other guys through and keep cutting laps and doing my own thing.
“If we can keep the car in good condition and can get it to the finish I think we’ll definitely gain a few positions.
“I just want to get as much experience under my belt as I can.”
Rullo admits he’s wary of the fact that his Superlicence was granted by CAMS on a provisional round-by-round basis until he turns 17 in June.
“It’s definitely something that’s in the back of my mind because obviously I want to keep the licence and keep going through the whole year,” he said.
“It’s something to take into consideration but I’m here to drive the car so it (thinking about the licence) is not my main focus.”
The weekend’s pair of 250km races will also be a major physical challenge for the teenager, with hot conditions expected to continue tomorrow.