Jack Perkins has topped the second practice session of the day, which was solely for co-drivers, at the Wilson Security Sandown 500.
While the experienced ‘Steves’ – Johnson, Richards and Owen – threatened for top spot, it was young gun Perkins who has bragging rights of quickest co-driver, as well as setting his fastest ever lap around Sandown with his 1min09.7581.
Fujitsu GRM driver Perkins – to be teamed with Scott McLaughlin this weekend and during the PIRTEK Enduro Cup – said the result was just a byproduct of what was going on behind the scenes at GRM.
“The whole team has given me the car to do this job and I felt quick all the way through practice then. We’ll see what Scotty can do this afternoon on new tyres,” he told v8supercars.com.au.
How did he feel about being the quickest co-driver, when all were out on the circuit for a go?
“It’s a good little mental hurdle, I think we were up the top the whole session and it’s just where the car deserves to be.
“I’ve got quite a competitive car and it never hurts when you’re the quickest. All you can do is the best job you can and it’s my quickest lap time ever around Sandown, so it’s pretty cool.
“Racing in the Dunlop Series has really helped keep me match fit, so it’s not as foreign as when you’re an outright part-timer, so it’s definitely helped and Scotty and I get along really well.
“It’s a big team deal, driving the car is just a small part of it, so everyone in the team, back at the workshop who’s not here. It’s only Friday, no trophies today, but we’re going to be pressing on and thinking of Sunday afternoon.”
Team BOC’s Andrew Jones was quick to set the fastest time early in the session and consistently clocked times that kept him inside the top 10.
Andrew Thompson backed up his and Slade’s earlier strong practice and finished fourth just one place behind his experienced Erebus teammate Johnson.
The session wasn’t without incident, with a red flag period after the Norton Hornets 360 car, Taz Douglas driving, lost a wheel.
The car had just come out of pit lane and a wheel had not been bolted on properly.
Douglas knew as soon as he was released and was trying to limp the Nissan back to the pits – but at turn nine the wheel came loose and halted the session.
At the end of the session, Perkins was followed by Owen (Will Davison), Johnson (Maro Engel), Thompson (Slade) and Greg Ritter (also of Fujitsu GRM, driving with Alex Premat).