Reynolds spoils Mercedes-Benz party at Ipswich

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It was a five star V8 Supercar day for the three-pointed star with a Mercedes-Benz practice domination at the Coates Hire Ipswich 300.

The three Mercedes-Benz AMG E63s back in V8 Supercars filled three of the top four places on practice day. They were topped only by a Ford - that of David Reynolds' Bottle-O Ford Falcon.

Lee Holdsworth was second in his Irwin Racing AMG, Tim Slade third in the Heavy Haulage Australia Supercar with the third team-mate German Maro Engel fourth in the SP Tools entry. All three were never out of the top five.

"I have expected to be in the top ten in the last couple of rounds where we have gained a bit of speed, the team has gained a bit of speed, and we have put a lot of hard work to get to that point," Holdsworth said.

"It's a good start to the weekend. It's only Friday so I'm not getting too excited but it is obviously a really positive start to have three Erebus cars in the top four fastest of the day so it's positive signs for the team.

"We knew with the test day, it was really positive, we had good speed all day long, we learnt a lot about the cars, because we have had such limited time in the cars testing so we got to run through a heap of changes and got to learn a lot about the car and how it responds to changes.

"Today that has payed off. "

Slade had the teams' highest finish in Townsville three weeks ago with a seventh on Sunday. He hopes to go much higher than that this weekend.

"I guess we have been back into the top ten in the last couple of races, and I thought this weekend I thought there was no reason why we shouldn't be there again," said Slade.

"And having testing here last week at our first proper test day at our proper test track was very productive and you never want to predict too much, but I thought it would be nice to carry on where we have been if not a little bit higher."

Of the three Mercedes Engel has had the worst of luck and is sitting on the bottom of the Championship. That's despite some solid performances amidst bad luck.

"It is nice to be here. It's been a positive day. Like the other boys have said, it's early days, it's Friday," Engel said.

"It wasn't that long ago that we were at Clipsal and pretty much all of us [Erebus Motorsport V8] were on the back row of the grid. And they have turned the cars around, so a big thank you to the Erebus team and the guys back in Germany."

Reynolds was quick as always, looking now to convert pace into race wins.

"In Townsville on Sunday we had a pretty good car and we had the proper strategy that HRT had as well but unfortunately the coil failed and that was the end of my day. So that was a small opportunity that we missed, but who knows mate, we are always trying and always finding things. We are always trying to win races," he said.

Lockwood Racing's Fabian Coulthard rounded out the top five in practice two. Championship leader Jamie Whincup was 13th.

A third, half-hour practice session will take place tomorrow at 10.15am AEST, followed by Qualifying and the 60/60 Super Sprint race.

Earlier, World Moto GP Champion Casey Stoner clocked the fastest time in first Dunlop Series practice.

Stoner recorded a 1min11.0926sec around the 3.12km Queensland circuit, at which he had the opportunity to test his Dunlop Series Holden Commodore since the last event in Townsville.

He followed up in practice two with sixth, his best practice performances in just his fourth event.

After the recent test day, Stoner was hopeful he would see an improvement this weekend.

"I'm hoping it'll help us out a little bit," Stoner said. "I haven't taken too long to learn most of the tracks honestly - there's been no excuses - we've learnt them very, very quickly.

"It's mainly just getting the car set up - for some of them we've wasted a lit bit of time and (have) sort of been on the back foot and only arrived towards the end of the weekend."

Championship leader Dale Wood led Steve Owen and Andrew Heimgartner home in the second and final practice session for the Dunlop Series.

The Dunlop Series has a qualifying session at 9.30am tomorrow, followed by three races across the weekend.

V8 Supercars

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About this article
Series V8SUPERCARS
Article type Practice report
Tags amg, david reynolds, ipswich, irwin, lee holdsworth, mercedes, reynolds