SVG has the speed at SMP

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 23/08/2014
  • By V8 Supercars

The new generation V8 Supercars haven't raced at Sydney Motorsport Park before, but Shane van Gisbergen and his TEKNO Autosports crew have the head start, recording the quickest time in first practice.

Soft Dunlop tyres were bolted onto the VIP Petfoods Commodore for a quick dash - similar to what the cars are expected to do in qualifying before tomorrow's race - and recorded a 1min29.909 lap, 0.5 seconds quicker than Garth Tander.

Tander set the time on his first lap of the session, which was dry throughout.

With six V8 Supercars sessions on-track today, including qualifying and racing, van Gisbergen headed straight to engineer Geoff Slater to work on improving the car.

Team boss Jonathon Webb -who will share the Commodore with van Gisbergen at the next three Pirtek Enduro Cup devents - said it was a positive to be on top early.

"I think it's good," he told v8supercars.com.au.

"We were confident coming here, we had a really good test here at the start of the year, we had a good baseline so we knew we'd be pretty close.

"We only made a couple of small changes then - he was happy on the hard, we ran the soft at the end just to see where the balance was at and we were surprised with how quick we were."

The teams can run one set of soft tyres in tomorrow's 200km race, so getting speed out of them for one qualifying lap will be important.

"It's going to be hard to get that balance right and get the speed off those tyres," Webb said.

"It's hard to know exactly where we were on the hard, but I think we were pretty much in the hunt, compared to everyone else.

"The soft tyre pace is there now, we know where the balance is at, so hopefully that helps us over the weekend."

And how is the team working through the compressed schedule today, with 150 points up for grabs across the two 100km sprints this afternoon?

"Try and control the chaos, that's a start! The boys have got a real program. It's obviously tight, but the program doesn't change that much, it just means the boys have to work harder to get a lot done in a short time."

Following Tander in the session was the Red Bull duo, with Craig Lowndes ahead of Jamie Whincup in third and fourth.

Erebus' Will Davison, Volvo's Scott McLaughlin, Ford's David Wall, Nissan's Todd Kelly and Robert Dahlgren completed the top 10.

Others to note include Chaz Mostert 14, first BJR car Jason Bright in 15, James Courtney 19, Fabian Coulthard 21 and Mark Winterbottom 24.

Click here for full results.

The second practice session starts at 10.30am local time, with bakc0to back qualifying at 12.30.

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