The mountain was in fine form for the opening day of the Bathurst 1000 as perfect weather greeted Red Bull Racing Australia here at the track.
Mount Panorama is always a special place to race and today gave the driver combinations of Craig Lowndes/Steven Richards and Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell the chance to work on car setups with three 45-minute practice sessions.
Consistency was key throughout the day and it was Lowndsey who provided a solid session first up to finish in P9 as he completed 15 laps in the #888 Holden Commodore. J Dub wasn’t far behind as he placed 12th in the opening practice session.
The second practice session was for co-drivers only with Dumbrell and Richards stepping into the hot seat. Richo settled in well from the get-go and a flying last lap saw him move up to third. PD built on Jamie’s work completing 13 laps to finish P11.
It was then Lowndsey and J Dub who rounded out day one with the last practice session taking place in the afternoon. After hopping out of the car Craig was upbeat with the progress made and produced his best lap of the day – 2:06.1979 – to end up sixth.
Jamie ended practice three in P15 with plenty of work still to be done ahead of tomorrow’s action which starts at 09:10 AEDT. Check out the telecast times here.
What they said:
JAMIE WHINCUP / PAUL DUMBRELL
Practice 1: 12th (Fastest Lap 2:08.0054) – JW
Practice 2: 11th (Fastest Lap 2:08.1073 ) – PD
Practice 3: 15th ( Fastest Lap 2:06.6802 ) – JW
“It’s good to be out on the best track in the country and it’s always good fun driving around here. We just had too many issues today. It was all going on inside the car. We didn’t really show our true potential at the end of the final session. I feel like we made some gains but we probably should have made a few more.”
“Bathurst on a Thursday is always good fun. We had a bit of work to do during the session. The car has been reasonable…we had some older tyres that we used to work on a race setup. We learned a few things, but we’ve still got a bit more work to do. There’s no prizes for Thursday so it’s heads down and we’ll make sure we work hard tomorrow.”
CRAIG LOWNDES / STEVEN RICHARDS
Practice 1: 9th (Fastest Lap 2:07.0596) – CL
Practice 2: 3rd (Fastest Lap 2:07.4106 ) – SR
Practice 3: 6th ( Fastest Lap 2:06.1979 ) – CL
“I think we made a lot of progress with the car’s setup today. We played with the setup and the car got better and better as the day went on. We’ve got to be very mindful that today is the first day and the track is going to change a lot over the next couple of days. We’ve got to make sure we trend with that. But I’m very happy. I’m a lot more comfortable in the car at this point now than where we were last year. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow and then getting into qualifying and the shootout.”
“It all went well today. We were just running though a little program and the first few laps were about getting used to the car and getting a feel for the track. We then ripped into it and started doing some useful work to try and make the car better. I’m pretty sure we did that and I’m feeling good in the car. At the end of the day particularly for Craig that’s a good opportunity to give him a feel for where the car is at. If you can set a reasonable time it also gives you a bit of confidence.”