UPDATED: Two-time MotoGP champion Casey Stoner says he is happy with his first ever attempt at a street circuit in a V8 Supercar. Speaking for the first time since getting behind the wheel at a race weekend, a relaxed Stoner shaved more than a second from his previous best time in today’s second practice session in Adelaide.
After finishing ninth from 30 drivers in his first ever track session earlier in the day, Stoner bettered his time of 1.24.89 seconds and his finishing position, winding up the day in 8th position and a time of 1.23.42seconds on the unforgiving Adelaide street circuit. In doing so, the relative V8 rookie out-paced a plethora of drivers with top tier V8 Supercars experience.
“There’s all sorts of things to contend with, but in general it’s been a lot of fun today,” Stoner said.
“It was a little bit different to begin with, going from a bike to a car, but you learn to run with it – that’s the edge of the track and that’s all you’ve got.
“But in general it wasn’t as daunting as I thought it would be, it’s a bit more easy to deal with.
“I’m pretty happy to be honest. We still need to make some improvements with the car, but it’s also me getting used to the car, getting used to the track, getting used to having cars around me and not being able to turn around and check who’s behind me, having to use the mirrors instead. Everyone’s been really good to us today.
“There’s obviously still work to do and I’m not placing any expectations on the weekends. But I’m certainly having fun and looking forward to the race tomorrow.”
The No.27 Red Bull Pirtek Holden sat in the top 10 for the majority of both sessions, Stoner for a long period finding himself amongst the top three in session two.
“It was a very good run out of the box,” Red Bull Racing Australia team owner Roland Dane said. “He was just 1.2 seconds off the quickest guys out there and he has never been to the circuit before or raced within the confines of walls and the track was very green.
“We’re pretty happy with that. He finished top-10 with plenty of experienced guys all around him and behind him. So he is in the thick of the action. He didn’t touch anything, he didn’t hit anything. He did a great job first run out and I’m sure he’ll be more relaxed now.”
Stoner’s debut race on four wheels will take place at 5.45pm (Adelaide) Friday after his 9.55am qualifying session.