Whincup sets early Bathurst pace

Whincup sets early Bathurst pace

Supercars Championship

Whincup sets early Bathurst pace


Jamie Whincup set the pace on the opening day of practice ahead of this year’s Bathurst 1000.

The four-time champion set the quickest time of the day in the closing moments of the third session, which was extended by 15 minutes to make up for earlier red flags.

Whincup was the first driver to get under the 2m09s bracket during this year’s event, while Mark Winterbottom was the only one of his rivals to set a time within one second of the pacesetter.

Whincup’s Triple 8 teammate and closest title rival Craig Lowndes, who had been fastest in the morning with a 2m10.1021s, was only 17th quickest in the final session and two seconds down on Whincup.

David Reynolds, Will Davison and Shane van Gisbergen completed the top five in the third (and fastest) session, while a Ford/Holden sweep of the top 10 was prevented by the Mercedes of Lee Holdsworth in seventh.

Nissan made a steady start to its return to Bathurst. It had cars in the top 10 in the first two sessions courtesy of James Moffat, Taz Douglas and David Russell, but its highest placed driver in the faster third session was Michael Caruso in 16th.

DTM racers Andy Prixaulx and Mattias Ekstrom managed to finish up 12th, seventh and 24th in the three outings as they got up to speed with their Holden.