Whincup fastest in Sandown warm-up

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 16/09/2018
  • By Mitchell Adam

The Red Bull Holden Racing Team's Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell entry led the way in the warm-up for the RABBLE.club Sandown 500.

Whincup turned a 1:08.4080s in the early stages, to lead Triple Eight's sister Commodore of Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards.

Teams focused on driver changes and pitstop practice during the 20 minutes, as they look ahead to the PIRTEK Enduro Cup opener.

Crucially, the session passed without major incident as the 1:20pm race in an overcast Melbourne looms.

Triple Eight's three entries logged laps early, with Whincup's 1:08.4080s four tenths clear of Richards and Shane van Gisbergen in front.

There was no change of the top two from there, as Dumbrell and Lowndes took over in #1 and #888, the final margin 0.3878 seconds.

"Richo went out on low fuel and old tyres and did that time, so that’s a real positive for us going into the day," Lowndes said.

"I only did a few laps, but the car feels nice, it’s not doing anything ugly, we’ll just see what the weather does and hopefully it’s a nice, sunny day.”

Jack Le Brocq put the Tekno Autosports Commodore third, while Scott McLaughlin's Shell Ford slotted into fourth.

“That was a lot better, on full tanks it feels good across the run," McLaughlin, who has trailed the Commodores on pace this weekend, said.

"It was a shorter run than we’ll do, but we’ve made some good improvements.

"We’ve tried all weekend to be amongst them down the chute, but obviously they’re pretty quick in a straightline, we’ve tried to combat that while having a good car in the corners.

"We’ll see how we go today."

Earl Bamber had a trip through the grass at Turn 7 during his run, his entry with van Gisbergen finishing fifth.

"It’s a good start,” van Gisbergen said.

“We made some changes overnight, but it’s easy to get caught out because the track is so fast because it’s so cold."

The lead Tickford entry of Chaz Mostert and James Moffat was sixth, ahead of Mobil 1 Boost Mobile Racing's rebuilt James Courtney/Jack Perkins Commodore.

Courtney crashed at Turn 6 during Saturday's second ARMOR ALL Race for the Grid.

Milwaukee Racing's Will and Alex Davison Falcon finished eighth, ahead of Brad Jones Racing's Nick Percat/Macauley Jones and Tim Blanchard/Dale Wood Commodores.

The ARMOR ALL Polesitter, Erebus Motorsport's #9 entry of David Reynolds and Luke Youlden, was 11th fastest.

They will share the front row with Whincup and Dumbrell this afternoon.

Erebus' Anton De Pasquale/Will Brown Commodore lost track time late with an apparent left-front suspension problem and was 23rd.

Saturday's other Race for the Grid winner, the Andre Heimgartner/Aaren Russell Nissan, was 25th in the order.

The 161-lap RABBLE.club Sandown 500, the opening leg of the PIRTEK Enduro Cup, starts at 1:20pm.

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