Jason Bright finished on top of the timesheets in the pre-season V8 Supercars test

Brad Jones Racing has kicked off its 2013 V8 Supercars Championship campaign in the best possible way, claiming a 1-2 on the timesheets in the series’ only open pre-season test at Sydney Motorsport Park.

A crowd of over 17,000 fans flocked to the western Sydney circuit to take advantage of the free entry and the midday autograph session on pit lane. For all, it would be the one and only public opportunity to see the brand new ‘Car of the Future’ racers in action before the season-opening Clipsall 500 at Adelaide in a fortnight’s time.

The new-look cars and liveries earned plenty of praise, with many fans raving about the AMG Mercedes’ distinctive exhaust note.

The day’s action was split into two test sessions, with the field also getting the opportunity to practice double-file rolling starts, which will become a feature under the championship’s new rules this year.

The clouds rolled in during the afternoon and deposited some showers on the track, confining the teams to the garages until conditions cleared midway through the second session.

Jason Bright (pictured top) was fastest in both the morning and afternoon sessions, winding up just four-hundredths of a second faster than team-mate Fabian Coulthard – a result made all the more impressive by this being the team’s very first running of the new Holden Commodore VF.

Rick Kelly was the fastest non-Holden runnerHolden claimed the top four positions on the timesheets, with Red Bull Racing Australia’s Craig Lowndes third-quickest, ahead of Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport transfer Dean Fiore.

Lowndes had run in the top-two positions for much of the day along with team-mate Jami Whincup, but a frantic final fifteen minutes saw virtually everyone set their best times of the day as the leaderboard constantly chopped and changed.

Holden was set to claim the top six positions but for a late effort from Rick Kelly, who put his brand-new Nissan Altima fifth-quickest, just ahead of V8 debutant Scott Pye, who capped off a promising day for Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, running for the first time as a two-car team.

Whincup finished the day seventh-fastest, followed by the fastest of the Ford runners, with FPR team-mates David Reynolds and Mark Winterbottom next up, while Jonathon Webb rounded out the top ten in his Holden.

Craig Lowndes Maro Engel

Maro Engel was the fastest of the AMG runners, settling into some solid running in the Erebus Motorsport E63 to finish fourteenth-fastest overall after 60 laps’ running.

Slowest in both sessions was Tim Blanchard, who finished up 4.7 seconds off Bright’s leading pace, completing minimal mileage in his hastily-built Dick Johnson Racing Ford.

2013 V8 Supercars Sydney Motorsport Park Pre-Season Test Session:

Driver Entry / Team Result Laps
1. Jason Bright Holden Team BOC / Brad Jones Racing 1:28.9655 56
2. Fabian Coulthard Holden Lockwood Racing / Brad Jones Racing + 0.0402 53
3. Craig Lowndes Holden Red Bull Racing AU / Triple 8 Engineering + 0.3955 81
4. Dean Fiore Holden Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport + 0.5435 46
5. Rick Kelly Nissan Jack Daniel’s Racing / Nissan Motorsport + 0.6565 54
6. Scott Pye Holden Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport + 1.3882 56
7. Jamie Whincup Holden Red Bull Racing AU / Triple 8 Engineering + 1.5165 72
8. David Reynolds Ford Bottle-O Racing / Ford Performance Racing + 1.5519 46
9. Mark Winterbottom Ford Pepsi Max Crew / Ford Performance Racing + 1.5587 41
10. Jonathon Webb Holden Tekno Autosports + 1.6596 56
11. James Courtney Holden Holden Racing Team / TWR + 1.6991 61
12. Shane van Gisbergen Holden VIP Petfoods / Tekno Autosports + 1.7207 44
13. Scott McLaughlin Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 1.7814 65
14. Maro Engel AMG SP Tools Racing / Erebus Motorsport + 1.8566 60
15. Russell Ingall Holden SuperCheap Auto Racing / TWR + 1.9676 77
16. Will Davison Ford Pepsi Max Crew / Ford Performance Racing + 2.0066 39
17. David Wall Holden Wilson Security Racing / Brad Jones Racing + 2.2054 43
18. Garth Tander Holden Holden Racing Team / TWR + 2.3687 73
19. Alexandre Prémat Holden Fujitsu Racing / Garry Rogers Motorsport + 2.4121 30
20. Tim Slade AMG Heavy Haulage Racing / Erebus Motorsport + 2.4242 44
21. James Moffat Nissan Norton 360 Racing / Nissan Motorsport + 2.4348 35
22. Tony D’Alberto Holden Tony D’Alberto Racing + 2.4553 47
23. Alex Davison Ford Jeld-Wen Racing / Ford Performance Racing + 2.5039 51
24. Lee Holdsworth AMG IRWIN Racing / Erebus Motorsport + 2.8015 35
25. Tim Blanchard Ford Dick Johnson Racing + 4.7621 23

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Yassmin Abdel-Magied
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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.