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