Tasmania Supercars: Van Gisbergen tops first practice

Tasmania Supercars: Van Gisbergen tops first practice
Apr 6, 2018, 2:54 AM

Shane van Gisbergen broke the unofficial Symmons Plains lap record on his way to top spot in Practice 1 in Tasmania.

The Triple Eight driver has all but secured a Q2 berth for tomorrow's first use of the new 'short track' qualifying system, making the most of good conditions for Practice 1 to go fastest with a record-breaking 50.789s.

Van Gisbergen was constantly near the front of the field throughout the 45-minute session, first going quickest with a 51.337s inside the first few minutes.

It wasn't until after the quarter-hour mark that the Kiwi's early time was bested, teammate Jamie Whincup taking over at the top with a 51.216s.

Shortly before the 30-minute mark James Courtney enjoyed the briefest of stints in P1 thanks to a 51.170s, before van Gisbergen returned to the top spot with a 51.066s seconds later.

With eight minutes to go Craig Lowndes became the third Triple Eight driver to go fastest, popping up on top with a 51.027s.

That was the starting point for the 'happy hour', Fabian Coulthard piecing together a two-lap stint that saw him go quickest with a 51.014s, before improving with a 50.994s, the first lap under the 51s bracket.

A minute later Scott Pye was on top with a 50.853s, before van Gisbergen came out swinging with two minutes to go, laying down a 50.819s before putting it to bed with that record-breaking 50.789s on his final lap.

"It's a really good start," said van Gisbergen. "In practice now the game has really changed; you have to put down a good marker. Normally we'd save a bit, but you've got to put down a marker to make sure you're in that Top 10. You never know what will happen in Practice 2 with weather or red flags.

"We've got a good marker, we've got a good car, so it's a good way to start."

Pye and Coulthard ended up second and third, with Lowndes slotting into fourth thanks to the lap that had put him fastest.

Whincup made ground late in the session to go fifth quickest, ahead of Courtney, Mark Winterbottom, and Tim Slade.

Scott McLaughlin was ninth fastest, but only after a lap right at the flag moved him up from 11th and into the Q2 bubble in case the weather changes before Practice 2 this afternoon.

Michael Caruso was both the best-placed Nissan and the final driver currently sitting in an automatic Q2 berth.

There are some big names that will definitely need to find some speed before Practice 2, with David Reynolds just 11th fastest, Chaz Mostert down in 16th, and Tickford young guns Cam Waters and Richie Stanaway 21st and 26th respectively.

1 97 new_zealand  Shane van Gisbergen  Holden Commodore ZB 50.7894    
2 2 australia  Scott Pye  Holden Commodore ZB 50.8534 0.0640 0.0640
3 12 new_zealand  Fabian Coulthard  Ford Falcon FG X 50.9947 0.2053 0.1413
4 888 australia  Craig Lowndes  Holden Commodore ZB 51.0272 0.2378 0.0325
5 1 australia  Jamie Whincup  Holden Commodore ZB 51.0383 0.2489 0.0111
6 25 australia  James Courtney  Holden Commodore ZB 51.0510 0.2616 0.0127
7 5 australia  Mark Winterbottom  Ford Falcon FG X 51.0693 0.2799 0.0183
8 14 australia  Tim Slade  Holden Commodore ZB 51.0757 0.2863 0.0064
9 17 new_zealand  Scott McLaughlin  Ford Falcon FG X 51.0946 0.3052 0.0189
10 23 australia  Michael Caruso  Nissan Altima 51.0988 0.3094 0.0042
11 9 australia  David Reynolds  Holden Commodore ZB 51.1149 0.3255 0.0161
12 15 australia  Rick Kelly  Nissan Altima 51.1865 0.3971 0.0716
13 18 australia  Lee Holdsworth  Holden Commodore ZB 51.1868 0.3974 0.0003
14 99 australia  Anton de Pasquale  Holden Commodore ZB 51.1895 0.4001 0.0027
15 33 australia  Garth Tander  Holden Commodore ZB 51.3250 0.5356 0.1355
16 55 australia  Chaz Mostert  Ford Falcon FG X 51.4370 0.6476 0.1120
17 35 australia  Todd Hazelwood  Ford Falcon FG X 51.4684 0.6790 0.0314
18 7 new_zealand  Andre Heimgartner  Nissan Altima 51.5093 0.7199 0.0409
19 8 australia  Nick Percat  Holden Commodore ZB 51.5164 0.7270 0.0071
20 230 australia  Will Davison  Ford Falcon FG X 51.5516 0.7622 0.0352
21 6 australia  Cameron Waters  Ford Falcon FG X 51.5568 0.7674 0.0052
22 19 australia  Jack Le Brocq  Holden Commodore ZB 51.5866 0.7972 0.0298
23 34 australia  James Golding  Holden Commodore ZB 51.6615 0.8721 0.0749
24 78 switzerland  Simona de Silvestro  Nissan Altima 51.7106 0.9212 0.0491
25 21 australia  Tim Blanchard  Holden Commodore ZB 51.8327 1.0433 0.1221
26 56 new_zealand  Richie Stanaway  Ford Falcon FG X 51.8456 1.0562 0.0129
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About this article

Series Supercars
Event Symmons Plains
Location Symmons Plains Raceway
Author Andrew van Leeuwen