Fabian Coulthard was fastest in Saturday's open test session

Fabian Coulthard has posted the quickest time in a damp day of V8 Supercars pre-season testing at Sydney Motorsport Park on Saturday.

The New Zealander was comfortably quickest on the day, trailed by two of the Nissan Motorsport entries piloted by the Kelly brothers.

While it’s perhaps difficult to read too much into the timesheets given the conditions and a number of drivers getting first-time hit-outs in new machinery, the result will serve as a confidence booster for Nissan, which struggled with its new Altima model last year and received dispensation from the series’ governing body to make aerodynamic changes to its car for the coming season.

The Japanese carmaker had all four of its entries in the top-ten, with Michael Caruso and James Moffat going eighth- and tenth-quickest respectively in their Norton-sponsored cars.

Last year’s championship runner-up Craig Lowndes was fourth-fastest in his Red Bull Racing Australia Holden, while teammate and defending champion Jamie Whincup was a comparatively lowly fifteenth fastest.

The two Volvo S60s attracted plenty of attentionWith thousands of fans hitting the circuit to take advantage of the free entry, many eyes were glued to the two Polestar Racing Volvo S60s, which were having their first on-track hit-outs ahead of the Swedish carmaker’s return to the Australian touring car scene.

Series rookie Robert Dahlgren took his S60 seventeenth-fastest, two spots clear of teammate Scott McLaughlin.

Lee Holdsworth was the quicker of the two Erebus AMG runners in fourteenth, while new teammate Will Davison was slowest of the grid’s regular runners, only managing nine laps for the day.

All five Fords were well down the timesheets – Chaz Mostert was best placed in sixteenth – but their poor speed was attributed the rather elementary error of bringing the incorrect gear ratios to the test.

The first round of the championship takes place during March 1-2, with the Clipsal 500 at Adelaide adopting a three-race format for the first time in the event’s history.

2014 V8 Supercars Test Day – Session Results:

  Driver   Team / Entry   Time
1. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Racing Holden 1:30.4787
2. Todd Kelly Nissan Motorsport + 0.6448
3. Rick Kelly Nissan Motorsport + 0.6803
4. Craig Lowndes Triple Eight Holden + 1.0019
5. James Courtney TWR Holden + 1.1002
6. Shane van Gisbergen Tekno Autosports Holden + 1.1038
7. Jason Bright Brad Jones Racing Holden + 1.3552
8. Michael Caruso Nissan Motorsport + 1.4063
9. Dale Wood Brad Jones Racing Holden + 1.4073
10. James Moffat Nissan Motorsport + 1.4299
11. Tim Slade TWR Holden + 1.5313
12. Nick Percat TWR Holden + 1.5485
13. Russell Ingall Lucas Dumbrell Holden + 1.6292
14. Lee Holdsworth Erebus Motorsport AMG + 1.6307
15. Jamie Whincup Triple Eight Holden + 1.6952
16. Chaz Mostert Ford Performance Racing + 1.7773
17. Robert Dahlgren Volvo Polestar Racing + 1.7822
18. Mark Winterbottom Ford Performance Racing + 1.8857
19. Scott McLaughlin Volvo Polestar Racing + 1.9037
20. Garth Tander TWR Holden + 1.9396
21. Jack Perkins Ford Performance Racing + 2.0537
22. David Wall Dick Johnson Racing Ford + 2.1027
23. David Reynolds Ford Performance Racing + 2.2692
24. Scott Pye Dick Johnson Racing Ford + 2.4133
25. Will Davison Erebus Motorsport AMG + 2.5558

Image via V8 Supercars Championship

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Geoff Burke

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