Bathurst 1000: Davison tops soaked opening practice

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Bathurst 1000: Davison tops soaked opening practice
Andrew van Leeuwen
By: Andrew van Leeuwen
Oct 4, 2018, 1:02 AM

Will Davison led the way in a weather-affected opening practice session for the 2018 Bathurst 1000.

The Great Race weekend kicked off in wet conditions, the track slowly drying over the course of the hour but at no point properly reaching the crossover point to sticks.

In fact there was only one single attempt at running a control dry weather Dunlop, Tim Blanchard tip-toeing his way around for lap with 10 minutes to go before heading back to the pits to re-fit wets.

Thanks to that morning rain the times started out in the 2m30s, Shane van Gisbergen leading the way in terms of improvements as the benchmark moved down to a 2m28.159s before the halfway mark,

Richie Stanaway then enjoyed a stint on top thanks to a 2m27.339s, before the next spell of quick times during the best of the track conditions inside the last quarter of an hour.

It started with van Gisbergen returning to the top with a 2m26.357s, Chaz Mostert taking over with a 2m25.538s with six minutes to go.

That looked like it was going to be good enough to top the session, only for Davison to grab P1 right at the flag with a 2m25.024s.

“It’s really hard to learn much when it’s greasy like that,” said Davison.

“You make a few changes to the car and can’t learn too much, other than tyre pressures.

“We read the conditions, made changes, there was not too much risk.”

Aaren Russell put in a last-gasp lap of his own to go third quickest in the #7 Nissan, Michael Caruso doing likewise in the sister Altima.

Mark Winterbottom ended up fifth quickest, having sat second behind Tickford teammate Mostert with just seconds left in the session.

Fabian Coulthard was the best of the Penske Fords in sixth, van Gisbergen slipping back to seventh after not getting a lap in right at the end when the track was fastest.

Simona de Silvestro, Scott Pye, and Sandown 500 winner Jamie Whincup rounded out the Top 10.

Despite the difficult conditions there was no carnage from the first hour of running, the only stoppage to the session coming thanks to reports of wildlife on the track.

Scott McLaughlin, one of the pre-race favourites, was just 17th quickest after opting to run more of a dry set-up despite the wet conditions.

“We basically left it as a dry car, almost, and just tried to learn as much as we could,” he said.

“It felt comfortable, very predictable, which is nice, but we’re probably not pushing the limit just yet.”

The action continues with a co-driver-only practice session at 12:55pm local time.

Cla # Driver Car Time Gap
1 230 Australia Alex Davison
Australia Will Davison
Ford Falcon FG X 2'25.0243  
2 55 Australia Chaz Mostert
Australia James Moffat
Ford Falcon FG X 2'25.5388 0.5145
3 7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner
Australia Aaren Russell
Nissan Altima 2'25.7144 0.6901
4 23 Australia Michael Caruso
Australia Dean Fiore
Nissan Altima 2'25.7173 0.6930
5 5 Australia Mark Winterbottom
Australia Dean Canto
Ford Falcon FG X 2'25.7358 0.7115
6 12 Australia Tony D'Alberto
New Zealand Fabian Coulthard
Ford Falcon FG X 2'25.9205 0.8962
7 97 New Zealand Earl Bamber
New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen
Holden Commodore ZB 2'26.3577 1.3334
8 78 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro
Australia Alex Rullo
Nissan Altima 2'26.5438 1.5195
9 2 Australia Warren Luff
Australia Scott Pye
Holden Commodore ZB 2'26.6683 1.6440
10 1 Australia Jamie Whincup
Paul Dumbrell
Holden Commodore ZB 2'26.6690 1.6447
11 56 New Zealand Richie Stanaway
Australia Steven Owen
Ford Falcon FG X 2'27.3396 2.3153
12 6 Australia David Russell
Australia Cameron Waters
Ford Falcon FG X 2'27.5771 2.5528
13 18 Australia Lee Holdsworth
Australia Jason Bright
Holden Commodore ZB 2'27.7949 2.7706
14 35 Australia Bryce Fullwood
Australia Todd Hazelwood
Ford Falcon FG X 2'28.2059 3.1816
15 19 Australia Jonathon Webb
Australia Jack Le Brocq
Holden Commodore ZB 2'29.0161 3.9918
16 17 France Alexandre Prémat
New Zealand Scott McLaughlin
Ford Falcon FG X 2'29.0767 4.0524
17 21 Australia Dale Wood
Australia Tim Blanchard
Holden Commodore ZB 2'29.2954 4.2711
18 34 Australia James Golding
Richard Muscat
Holden Commodore ZB 2'29.4292 4.4049
19 14 Australia Tim Slade
Australia Ash Walsh
Holden Commodore ZB 2'29.4749 4.4506
20 888 New Zealand Steven Richards
Australia Craig Lowndes
Holden Commodore ZB 2'30.5808 5.5565
21 33 Australia Garth Tander
New Zealand Chris Pither
Holden Commodore ZB 2'31.5436 6.5193
22 8 Australia Nick Percat
Australia Macauley Jones
Holden Commodore ZB 2'31.6888 6.6645
23 11 Australia Rick Kelly
Garry Jacobson
Nissan Altima 2'31.8550 6.8307
24 25 Australia James Courtney
Jack Perkins
Holden Commodore ZB 2'32.6344 7.6101
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About this article

Series Supercars
Event Bathurst
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
Article type Practice report