Van Gisbergen fastest as Sydney SuperNight starts

28 Jul
Reigning champion quickest in Practice 1

Shane van Gisbergen, aboard his new chassis, has set the pace in first practice at the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight.

Van Gisbergen led a quartet of Chevrolet Camaros after 30 minutes of practice at Sydney Motorsport Park.

The reigning champion clocked a 1:30.4941s early in the session, with the #97 Red Bull Ampol Camaro 0.1885s clear at the top.

  • Click here for Practice 1 results

Van Gisbergen (#97 Red Bull Ampol Camaro) led Matt Stone Racing’s Jack Le Brocq and Erebus Motorsport teammates Brodie Kostecki and Will Brown.

The majority of the field recorded their fastest laps early on, with van Gisbergen’s benchmark coming on his second lap of 10.

Only Andre Heimgartner in eighth (14th lap) and James Courtney in 14th (11th lap) improved their times towards the end.

Van Gisbergen has been in the headlines since Townsville, with the Kiwi moved into Triple Eight’s wildcard chassis.

The switch comes after van Gisbergen was plagued by handling issues in Darwin and Townsville.

The new car did little to slow van Gisbergen down, it could bring the 78-time race winner firmly back into the title picture.

The 34-year-old hasn’t won since Perth in April, and has just two podiums in his last 10 starts.

“We’re obviously good, but I feel like we’re driving around on wets,” van Gisbergen said.

“Driving around at 40 per cent, trying to keep the car on the track. Obviously we had pretty good tyres, so we’ll see.


“It’s fine, it’s driving down the straight straight, instead of variable steering. We have the other car here, we can try it on the ride day.

“The guys think they figured out what it was, but we just changed the chassis to be safe. We’ll confirm it on Monday."

The 3.9km circuit was dry despite overnight rain, and van Gisbergen set the early running with a 1:31.1025s.

Brown (1:30.8574s) and Kostecki (1:30.8864s) edged ahead, before van Gisbergen put nearly 0.4s on his Erebus rivals.

Le Brocq moved into second with a 1:30.6826s, with the #34 Truck Assist Camaro remaining second by session's end.

A number of drivers came to grief throughout, headlined by a big spin for James Golding (#31 Nulon Camaro) spinning off at Turn 3.

Later, Scott Pye (#20 Hino Camaro) locked up and bowled a wide at Turn 6. Golding ended up sixth, with Pye 17th.

Chaz Mostert (#25 Mobil 1 Optus Mustang) was first Ford home in fifth ahead of Golding and Broc Feeney (#88 Red Bull Ampol Camaro).

The top four title combatants were in the top seven; Brown leads the championship by seven points over Kostecki, with Feeney and van Gisbergen 26 and 72 points down.

Heimgartner (#8 R&J Batteries Camaro), Tim Slade (#23 Nulon Camaro) and Nick Percat (#2 Mobil 1 NTI Mustang) rounded out the top 10.

Anton De Pasquale, who won the last race in Townsville, was 12th aboard his #11 Shell V-Power Ford ahead of Blue Oval rival Cam Waters (#6 Monster Energy Mustang).

De Pasquale's teammate Will Davison was 18th, having picked up a steering rack issue in his #17 Shell V-Power Mustang during the session.

Practice 2 starts at 2:10pm local time/AEST on Saturday afternoon, before ARMOR ALL Qualifying and the 51-lap race at 7:35pm.

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