19 MAY 2017
Nissan shows good pace in wet Winton practice
Nissan Motorsport has enjoyed a strong first day of practice at the Winton SuperSprint, with the team recording competitive times across three practice sessions.
The day commenced with a 30-minute session held for the Pirtek Endurance Cup co-drivers as well as the Super2 wildcard teams. MW Motorsport's Shae Davies finished with the fastest time, leading #7 carsales Racing co-driver Jack Le Brocq for a Nissan 1-2. Dean Fiore also finished inside the Top 10, recording the 10th fastest time in the #23 Nissan NISMO. The #15 Sengled Racing Altima of David Wall finished 17th, and David Russell in the #78 Team Harvey Norman entry finished 20th. The full-time drivers then took over for the remainder of the day.
Todd Kelly recorded the 2nd fastest time in the first 45-minute session for the main game drivers. The #7 carsales Racing driver relished in the wet conditions and was only pipped at the top of the times late in the session.
Rick Kelly also showed strong pace the day's first full practice session, as the #15 Sengled Racing driver secured the 4th fastest time. Despite the speed in the wet, Kelly is confident the team has the data for whatever the prevailing weather conditions provide tomorrow.
Michael Caruso's best performance was reserved for the afternoon's second practice session, as the #23 Nissan NISMO driver held the fastest time until the dying moments. A drying track eventually relegated Caruso to 7th, but it has not diminished his excitement for a potential wet qualifying tomorrow.
While Simona De Silvestro is returning to the race track she is most familiar with, the wet conditions still provide unique challenges for the Swiss driver. The #78 Team Harvey Norman entry recorded the 25th fastest time in the first practice session and then later improved to 18th in the day's final session.
Saturday at the Winton SuperSprint will consist of final practice, qualifying and a 120km race.
Todd Kelly - #7 carsales Racing
"The more water on the track, it looked like the better we were. The car really suited the track today. But as it dried out, it was a different story. We don't really know where we are in the dry because I speared off on my fast lap. Hopefully tomorrow is completely dry, and we can get a good read on where we're at."
Rick Kelly - #15 Sengled Racing
"I think we've got a pretty solid car from the dry running we did here last year, so I'll be pretty happy for it to be dry tomorrow. We got some pretty good running in that first session in the wet, so it looks like we have a good car in the wet as well. The action will heat up tomorrow up the pointy end, so we'll see where we are. If it's wet, we can take our learnings from today, and if it's dry, we'll look at our data from last year. I'm looking forward to getting on with the weekend tomorrow."
Michael Caruso - #23 Nissan NISMO
"We tried some things in that first session. I knew we had a good car and the things we tried were quite drastic. You never really get the opportunity to test things in the wet, so that's what we used the first session for. Then we applied our learnings in the second session. I enjoy proving that we have a good handling car when we take away the engine and the tyre issues. It's a credit to everyone in the engineering team, so we just need to keep focused on that, and we'll be okay."
Simona De Silvestro - #78 Team Harvey Norman
"It was an interesting day today. There was definitely a lot of water out there and it was tough just figuring out the lines. This afternoon was different conditions with different tyres, so it was interesting to see how everyone went quicker with the wet tyres. So that's something to keep in mind for tomorrow. But hopefully it is dry tomorrow so we can work on the car for the rest of the weekend.