Perth Supercars: Heimgartner quickest in first practice

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Perth Supercars: Heimgartner quickest in first practice
Andrew van Leeuwen
By: Andrew van Leeuwen
May 4, 2018, 4:05 AM

Nissan's Andre Hiemgartner was the surprise pacesetter from the opening Supercars practice session at Barbagallo Raceway in Perth.

Points leader Scott McLaughlin made a fast start to the 45-minute session, dropping straight into the 55s with a 55.825s on his very first run.

That left him more than half a second clear of the field, before Mark Winterbottom reduced the gap to 0.3s with a 56.208s on the 11-minute mark.

After that early flurry the session stabilised, with few noteworthy improvements right at the top of the times. In fact it wasn't until inside the final five minutes that anybody made a dent into McLaughlin's gap, Jamie Whincup becoming the second driver into the 55s with a 55.938s to slot into second.

With a little over three minutes to go, McLaughlin was finally knocked off top spot, Scott Pye going quickest with a 55.713s.

However Pye's stint at the top was short-lived, Heimgartner popping up on his very last run with a 55.682s to leave him 0.03s clear of the field.

"The car's been good, and we've had a new strategy on how to attack setting up the car, which seems to have worked pretty well," said Heimgartner.

"I'm not getting too excited just yet because you never know what could happen. But it's a good start to the weekend."

Pye was second, while Craig Lowndes dropped into third with a 55.784s on his final run.

McLaughlin ended up fourth thanks to that early lap, with title rivals Jamie Whincup and David Reynolds fifth and sixth.

Michael Caruso made it two Nissans in the Top 10 with seventh, while Anton De Pasquale was the star rookie in eighth.

Lee Holdsworth and Jack Le Brocq rounded out the Top 10.

There are a few big names with work to do in this afternoon's second practice session if they want direct passage to Q2 tomorrow, with all four Tickford drivers missing the Top 10.

Shane van Gisbergen was also well off the pace, finishing just 22nd, while Fabian Coulthard was a spot further back in 23rd.

Rick Kelly, fresh off the back of two podiums at Phillip Island, was just 24th fastest.

ClaDriverCarTimeGap
1 7 new_zealand  Andre Heimgartner  Nissan Altima 55.6825  
2 2 australia  Scott Pye  Holden Commodore ZB 55.7137 0.0312
3 888 australia  Craig Lowndes  Holden Commodore ZB 55.7848 0.1023
4 17 new_zealand  Scott McLaughlin  Ford Falcon FG X 55.8256 0.1431
5 1 australia  Jamie Whincup  Holden Commodore ZB 55.9387 0.2562
6 9 australia  David Reynolds  Holden Commodore ZB 56.0463 0.3638
7 23 australia  Michael Caruso  Nissan Altima 56.0557 0.3732
8 99 australia  Anton de Pasquale  Holden Commodore ZB 56.0966 0.4141
9 18 australia  Lee Holdsworth  Holden Commodore ZB 56.1073 0.4248
10 19 australia  Jack Le Brocq  Holden Commodore ZB 56.1235 0.4410
11 33 australia  Garth Tander  Holden Commodore ZB 56.1669 0.4844
12 14 australia  Tim Slade  Holden Commodore ZB 56.1797 0.4972
13 55 australia  Chaz Mostert  Ford Falcon FG X 56.1831 0.5006
14 5 australia  Mark Winterbottom  Ford Falcon FG X 56.2087 0.5262
15 8 australia  Nick Percat  Holden Commodore ZB 56.2242 0.5417
16 25 australia  James Courtney  Holden Commodore ZB 56.2681 0.5856
17 56 new_zealand  Richie Stanaway  Ford Falcon FG X 56.2986 0.6161
18 400 australia  Will Davison  Ford Falcon FG X 56.3025 0.6200
19 78 switzerland  Simona de Silvestro  Nissan Altima 56.3588 0.6763
20 21 australia  Tim Blanchard  Holden Commodore ZB 56.3726 0.6901
21 6 australia  Cameron Waters  Ford Falcon FG X 56.3846 0.7021
22 97 new_zealand  Shane van Gisbergen  Holden Commodore ZB 56.5928 0.9103
23 12 new_zealand  Fabian Coulthard  Ford Falcon FG X 56.6011 0.9186
24 15 australia  Rick Kelly  Nissan Altima 56.7289 1.0464
25 35 australia  Todd Hazelwood  Ford Falcon FG X 57.0302 1.3477
26 34 australia  James Golding  Holden Commodore ZB 57.0302 1.3477
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About this article

Series Supercars
Event Barbagallo
Location Barbagallo Raceway
Author Andrew van Leeuwen
Article type Practice report