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Kelly stuns in wet Adelaide practice as Allen, Best hit trouble

Dunlop Series Super2
23 Nov
Mason Kelly was a surprise pace-setter at a wet Adelaide as Kai Allen and Zak Best encountered problems in Practice 1
3 mins by James Pavey
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  • Mason Kelly drops Super3 Altima in first position in Practice 1

  • Kelly quickest in wet practice ahead of WAU duo Ryan Wood and Zach Bates

  • Super2 title favourites Zak Best and Kai Allen only 19th and 25th

Second-generation driver Mason Kelly was the surprise pace-setter in a wet Practice 1 at the VAILO Adelaide 500, with Kai Allen and Zak Best hitting trouble.

Super3 driver Kelly, son of 2005 Bathurst 1000 winner Todd, set the fastest time of the session before the session was halted and eventually declared.

The teenager’s 1:34.6501s proved 0.1343s quicker than Walkinshaw Andretti United Super2 duo Ryan Wood and Zach Bates.

While there were smiles for Kelly, it was a challenging first hit-out for Super2 title combatants Allen and Best, who ended up 24th and 19th on the time sheets.

Eggleston Motorsport driver Allen, who is 30 points behind Anderson Motorsport rival Best, recorded just five laps after he struck power steering issues in his ZB Commodore.

Best, meanwhile, battled with fogging in his Mustang’s cabin and was 3.3s off the pace, with his session featuring a minor off at Turn 5.

Highlights: Practice 1 2023 Dunlop Series Adelaide
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Turn 5 was the scene of the incident that saw the session declared, with Super2 rookie Callum Walker beaching his ZB Commodore in the gravel trap.

Walker’s error came after South Aussie Tickford Racing driver Brad Vaughan, who spent time at the top of the time sheets, sent his Mustang into the Turn 4 tyre wall.

The session began with steady rain, albeit light, falling over the Adelaide Parklands. Eggleston rookie Cooper Murray opened proceedings with a 1:44.1455s, but as drivers created a dry line, the times continued to tumble.

Murray backed up with a 1:41.5777s, before Vaughan went quicker with a 1:40.0585s and 1:39.2004s.

Image Racing driver Jay Hanson went quickest after 12 minutes with a 1:38.1622s, with Murray, Bates, Vaughan and Blanchard Racing Team star Aaron Love all trading top spot in a frantic 10-minute period.

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Kelly shot his Altima to the top with a 1:34.6501s before Walker beached his Commodore in the Turn 5 gravel trap. Vaughan found trouble of his own at Turn 4 while fifth on the time sheets.

Walker returned to pit lane under his own steam, but the recovery of Vaughan's damaged car ensured Race Control eventually declared the session with just two minutes left on the clock.

Murray, Vaughan, Eggleston's Cameron Crick, Love, Hanson, the returning Jordan Boys and Brad Jones Racing's Lochie Dalton rounded out the top 10.

Cameron McLeod was second in Super3 and 16th overall, with Super3 points leader Jobe Stewart 21st ahead of title rival Jett Johnson, Elly Morrow and Allen.

Dunlop Series action on Thursday will conclude with Practice 2 at 2:50pm local time/3:20pm AEDT.

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