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Brown beats Golding in tight Darwin practice

Supercars
14 Jun
The scene is set for a thrilling Qualifying session, with the top four covered by just 0.05s
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  • Will Brown tops tight first practice in Darwin

  • Top four drivers covered by 0.05s at Hidden Valley

  • Supercars return for Qualifying on Friday afternoon

The scene is set for a thrilling Boost Mobile Qualifying session in Darwin, with Will Brown leading a tight first practice at Hidden Valley Raceway.

A thrilling five-minute run to the chequered flag saw top spot exchange hands several times, with championship leader Brown emerging quickest of all in the first action of the betr Darwin Triple Crown weekend.

Brown clocked a 1:06.4153s to beat James Golding, who was juts 0.0156s behind in second. Jack Le Brocq and Andre Heimgartner were third and fourth, and both were within 0.06s of Brown.

Cam Waters, Mark Winterbottom, Thomas Randle, Matt Payne, Will Davison and Macauley Jones completed the top 10, with eight teams represented.

Broc Feeney was 11th and Chaz Mostert 16th, with reigning champion Brodie Kostecki 17th after an early engine issue in the #1 Erebus Motorsport Chevrolet.

After cars rolled out, Brown set the first timed lap, a 1:07.1029s, before Winterbottom lowered the benchmark to a 1:06.7715s.

Waters slotted into second with a 1:06.7945s, before Payne went fastest of all in the first runs with a 1:06.6282s. Nick Percat, Heimgartmer, Randle, Cameron Hill, David Reynolds, Brown and Le Brocq rounded out the top 10.

Behind them, Feeney was 15th and Mostert 16th, with Kostecki stuck in the garage on seven cylinders as teams readied cars for the second runs.

James Courtney hit the first on-track hiccup of the weekend, running off at Turn 1, as Kostecki returned to the circuit at the 20-minute mark. On his first flying lap, Kostecki only improved to 23rd.

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Long runs were the focus in the middle of the session, with Payne’s time holding firm at the top of the time sheets. Later, Waters became the second driver to fall foul of Turn 1, with the Monster Mustang running down the escape road.

With 26 minutes to go, Mostert jumped to eighth with a 1:06.9571s, albeit 0.3289s behind Payne. Jaxon Evans, meanwhile, clocked a 1:06.8648s to move to fourth, joining Brad Jones Racing teammate Heimgartner in the top six.

Percat moved to third with a 1:06.7632s, with Waters clocking a 1:06.7945s to drop Evans to fourth. With 16 minutes remaining, the top five drivers were covered by 0.2366s. Behind them, Kostecki jumped to 18th, albeit 0.5358s down.

Hill moved to fourth at the 49-minute mark with a 1:06.8553s, with Davison seventh. Courtney then jumped from 22nd to ninth with a 1:06.9161s, with the top 10 covered by 0.2933s with eight minutes to go.

From there, times rapidly improved as teams shifted focus to Qualifying. Le Brocq moved to third with a 1:06.7547s, and Heimgartner sixth with a 1:06.7963s after setting a purple first sector.

MH1 1340

Feeney jumped to third with a 1:06.6962s, and went on with on his second push lap. However, after setting the fastest first sector, Feeney bailed out of the lap and pitted, eventually ending up 11th.

Kostecki found pace and moved to ninth with a 1:06.8570s, which ended up good enough for 17th. Hill moved from eighth to sixth with a 1:06.7804s, but also dropped to 15th by session's end.

Mostert only improved to 13th with a 1:06.9165s, and shifted the number slightly to a 1:06.8560s. The Perth winner was just 16th on the time sheets at the end of the session, 0.4407s behind Brown.

Golding shot his PremiAir Nulon Chevrolet to the top with a 1:06.4309s in the closing minutes, with Waters second on a 1:06.5167s. Randle made it a Tickford Racing two-three, before Brown vaulted to the top with a 1:06.4173s.

Supercars will return to the track for Boost Mobile Qualifying at 2:35pm ACST/3:05pm AEST, which will set the running order for Saturday’s Shootout.

Track action will commence on Saturday with Practice 2 at 9:35am ACST/10:05am AEST, before the Boost Mobile Top Ten Shootout at 11:35am ACST/12:05pm AEST.

The first race of the weekend, the 48-lap Race 11, will get underway at 3:10pm ACST/3:40pm AEST.

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