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LIVE DIARY: AGP 2018 THURSDAY

1800 Time to crack on with it. Here’s what the boys had to say after today:

Jamie Whincup – Car #1
Practice 1 – First (Fastest Lap: 1:55.4067)
Practice 2 – Second (Fastest Lap: 1:55.4399)
Qualifying – Race 1 – Third (Fastest Lap: 1:54.9782)
Qualifying – Race 2 – First (Fastest Lap: 1:55.9974)

“We had a tough run in practice, unfortunately we were just dampened with a heap of mechanical issues – a lot of them still existing from Adelaide, on all three cars. That wasn’t good and not proud of it but we’ll just get to the bottom of it, hopefully overnight. The car, pace-wise, is pretty good, it’s got good grip and we learnt a lot in practice. In Q1, we just got shown up by Team Penske – they were very quick here last year, miles quicker than us, so we were happy to have bridged the gap although we certainly got shown up pretty hard in Q1. (David) Cauchi (Race Engineer) made the demon tweak which was the difference, the car was fantastic and the driver did a much better job on day one than he did on day one in Adelaide. First pole of the year and I’m feeling good.”

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97
Practice 1 – 17th (Fastest Lap: 1:57.4283)
Practice 2 – Ninth (Fastest Lap: 1:56.1655)
Qualifying – Race 1 – Fifth (Fastest Lap: 1:55.3149)
Qualifying – Race 2  – Seventh (Fastest Lap: 1:55.5938)
“The first qualifying session was okay, we ended up sixth and only did one run. Our car has just been average all day and we haven’t been able to get a hand on it. It’s the same as Jamie’s, or close to it, but it doesn’t feel right and I’m struggling to stay on track. Although, to be driving something we don’t like but ending up sixth is not bad. In the second qualifying session the car was even worse. We didn’t change anything in the few minutes between sessions, we just drove it. The track grip had gone away a bit by then and we ended up sixth again so we need find it and fix it tonight. Every session has been so close today so we haven’t had time to have a look, we’re just tweaking but not fixing. We will just need to knuckle down and figure out where we’re wrong tonight.”

1715 There will be plenty of tweaking going in to the cars tonight, SVG’s in particular. We have a huge day tomorrow with two qualifying sessions and our first race…

1700 We have pole position for Race 2 on Saturday! JDub does a magnificent job to outdo the Penske boys next door and has qualified P1 with a time of 1:55.9974. SVG on the other hand dropped back to P7, a tough one as he found it hard to get a grip on the car.

Jamie Whincup of Red Bull Holden Racing Team during the , , , March 22, 2018.

1630 The Bulls are both back in after their first qualifying session, which is in fact only about 7-8 minutes of top speed, after they warm up. JDub came in P3 and SVG is P5. The crew are frantically getting the car tweaked for the second qualifying session…

1600 Twenty minutes until the all-important Qualifying session – now this is the qualifying session for Race 1 tomorrow, it goes for 10 minutes and then we have a 10 minute turnaround before the second qualifying session which will be for Race 2 on Saturday. Talk about confusing… It’s manic around here.

1515 All of our practice sessions are complete. JDub killed it once again, recording another purple lap before Scotty pipped him at the post and he finished P2 with 1:55.4395. SVG was hanging down back for awhile before skyrocketing up to P9 (1:56.1655) in the final two minutes.

1330 Practice One done and done. The first time the all-new Commodores hit the high-speed Albert Park track. JDub recorded a purple lap and finished P1 with 1:55.4067 and SVG came through P17 with 1:57.4283. Now we debrief and get back to it again at 1440.

1100 SVG gets technical and speaks to school children about the technology and innovation behind motorsport…

0945 Pit stop practice and engine run done. It’s a sunny 17 degrees in Melbourne, let’s hope it stays that way (please Melbourne).

0800 Good morning friends! We’re having a lie in this morning as we’ve completed our set up and we’re not on track until later today… We’ve got a big day as we squeeze in two practice sessions before the very important qualifying sessions later this arvo.