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Live Diary: GC600 Friday

8:02pm That’s a wrap on our Friday at the Gold Coast 600 this year. Check back tomorrow for more updates or catch us at our next autograph session* outside the merchandise tent from 9am.

*Signing card required, which can be picked up from the on-track store on the day of the session for a gold coin donation. All proceeds go to the Australian Road Safety Foundation.

6:30pm We caught up with our drivers to see how they felt following our practice sessions and going into a potentially damp Saturday. Here’s what they had to say:

Jamie Whincup – Car #88

“We had a really good day, the key to today was that the car drove out of the truck fast and 90 percent of the job was done when we got here so we were able to get out and move forward from there. The car felt great and I really like this place – it’s such a gnarly little track and the harder you push the more rewarding it gets. It was nice to see a time under the 10-second bracket come up on the dash. Tomorrow is just a different kettle of fish – we had a great Friday Grand Prix but Saturday, when the rain falls all day, will change things so we will need to see how our wet pace is and not get too carried away. We’ll just try to do a good job tomorrow and stay out of trouble.”

Paul Dumbrell – Car #88 Co-Driver

“It was really good to have the car straight out of the gate for J-Dub (Jamie Whincup) after P1. We worked on a couple of small changes and were able to step forward each time with J-Dub doing a great job there at the end. If it rains tomorrow, today probably doesn’t mean a lot but it’s great to have a good car and to go in feeling strong. The rain will just make it an interesting day, that’s for sure.”

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97

“Our practice sessions were good, we worked through a good program today. In the first session we led most of it and it felt really good. Matty (Campbell) got in and got up to speed really quickly, he hit some traffic on his fast lap but still went well which was promising. In the final session, we didn’t have the cleanest run but we learnt a lot and I think we have a pretty good car for Sunday. We will just have to see what happens tomorrow in the weather. In the 10 years I’ve been here, I’ve never driven on a wet tyre so it will be interesting to say the least.”

Matty Campbell – Car #97 Co-Driver

“It wasn’t too bad today, I was pretty happy with the car and I felt nice and comfortable. I showed some pace and it could’ve been even better but I got slightly held up on my fast lap. We are really happy with the car and we just have to wait and see what this weather does. The rain will change the race a lot, especially around here with all the painted white lines, it could be very tricky. Tomorrow we’ll just have to play it by ear but we could see some very interesting racing and a lot of strategy will probably come into it.”

Jamie Whincup of Red Bull Holden Racing Team during the Vodafone Gold Coast 600, at the Surfers Paradise , Gold Coast, Queensland, October 20, 2017.

5:55pm We’re off to the press conference with J-Dub and PD to see how they felt.

5:38pm Our final practice is complete with no major concerns. J-Dub in P1 (1:09.9179) an SVG in P5 (1:10.3588).

5:34pm And we thought PD did well! J-Dub sets a new lap record!

5:29pm Moffat goes into the wall and there’s some fuel leakage on the track, driver’s need to take some caution for a moment.

5:03pm Sitting in P1 (J-Dub) and P2 (SVG) we get a red flag… There will be a few of them this weekend…

4:53pm Cars roll out for final practice as the sun sets on the Goldie. Let’s see what we’ve got!

2:29pm Our co-drivers’ first practice session is complete and PD killed it! The CEO recorded a session-best lap time of 1:11.1445. Matty wasn’t far behind in P7 (1:11.6192) despite scraping a wall and losing his left mirror – our first mirror of the weekend! What’s your bet on total mirrors lost?

1:45pm Practice 2 with our co-drivers is underway in 15mins. Let’s see what Matty and PD can do…

1:30pm The drivers are back from today’s signing session at the merch tent! A lot of people there so if you didn’t get a chance to catch the boys, make sure to get your signing card from the merch tent first thing tomorrow morning, for a gold coin donation, to secure your spot.

Shane van Gisbergen of Red Bull Holden Racing Team during the Vodafone Gold Coast 600, at the Surfers Paradise , Gold Coast, Queensland, October 20, 2017.

11:35am Well our first practice session is complete and was somewhat successful! Shane was on fire and finished P3 with a best lap time of 1:11.1754. J-Dub wasn’t far behind finishing P7 (1:11.6542).

9:36am The sun’s come out to play! Fingers crossed she sticks around for the whole weekend.

7:00am We’re underway on the Gold Coast!