18 AUG 2017
Nissan Fastest In First Practice
Nissan Motorsport has started the weekend strongly by setting the fastest time in first Practice ahead of this weekend's Sydney SuperSprint.
Michael Caruso led the way during the day's first 45 minute Practice session, as the #23 Nissan NISMO driver recorded an impressive 1:29:96 lap time. Despite dedicating the day's second session to developing a race package to support this one lap speed, Caruso still managed to set the 5th fastest time.
Rick Kelly wasn't happy with the balance of the #15 Sengled Altima during the first practice session, but thanks to some impressive work by the crew, he ended the day much closer to the mark. Kelly finished inside the Top 10 in the day's second session, and tomorrow's final Practice provides the opportunity to further tune the car ahead of qualifying and the 120km race.
Better understanding the tyre degredation around the 3.9km Sydney Motorsport Park circuit was Todd Kelly's objective today. The #7 carsales Racing driver worked through a gearbox change in-between sessions to finish the day with the 11th fastest time.
After partipcating in last night's 'under lights' test (read more), Simona De Silvestro recorded an impressive 16th fastest time in today's first practice. The #78 Team Harvey Norman driver improved her lap time by .7 of a second to finish Practice 2 with a 1:30.39 and the 22nd fastest time.
Saturday at the Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint consists of a 45 minute practice session, 15 minute qualifying and 120km race.
Rick Kelly - #15 Sengled Racing
"We tried a few things in Practice 1 and for the track condition today it certainly was not favourable. It was a few big things that we couldn't change during the session, so the guys had a hell of a job to change it back to a more known set up.
"We missed the first few minutes of Practice 2 and lost a bit of tuning time because of it. But we've got ourselves roughly back in the window by the end of the second session. So to cross the line in 10th is a good recovery from where we started. We have a practice session tomorrow to fine tune and the ability to look over what Michael did today. So it was a bit of a worrying start but a good recovery."
Todd Kelly - #7 carsales Racing
"It was a pretty windy day here today. The car wasn't where I wanted it during that first session, so we made a few changes, including replacing the gearbox, and ran it on new tyres. That second run showed us just how far the gap is between old and new tyres around this place. And that will be the challenge for the entire weekend."
Michael Caruso - #23 Nissan NISMO
"It was such a windy day here today. It was even affecting how the car is handling and driving down the straight. The headwind down the front straight was severe that I couldn't even pluck 6th gear. I spoke to the guys over the radio to make sure there was nothing wrong with the car, but no, we just had to deal with some pretty unique weather.
"You've got to have a good mix over the two practice sessions of one lap speed and your managing tyres. So we took a sensible approach to try and put us in a good position for both qualifying and the race tomorrow."
Simona De Silvestro - #78 Team Harvey Norman
"We had a pretty good session this morning and then we tried something different in the afternoon. We changed the front, and I didn't like the change. So it was a bit of a struggle in the session, so hopefully we get it back and improve for tomorrow.
"On old tyres the track is pretty tricky out there because you have a lot of tyre degradation. The races are going to feel pretty long around here because you suffer so much when the tyres go away. It's the same for everyone, so we just need to try and be on top of it."