The two Red Bull Holden Racing cars have both shown they are on the pace early in practice for the Sandown 500. The first of three rounds of the PIRTEK Endurance Cup is underway at the Victoria circuit with the #1 car of Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell setting the quickest times in practice one and two. Team mate Shane van Gisbergen along with co-driver Earl Bamber set the second fastest time in both the second and third practice sessions.
“Earl went well today, he did more laps than me but I will do more laps tomorrow morning,” commented van Gisbergen. “The track was really funky with the rubber that was on it so I expect tomorrow will be different because that’s gone, as well as the weather factor. It was a good day, a good start, all three cars are fast. Earl got up to speed quite quickly which was expected, he’s a top driver and we all know how good he is and now it’s up to me to qualify up the front so he’s in and amongst all of the good co-drivers for his race.”
“It was good out there, I really like the track because there are loads of left-handers and I’m left-handed,” said Bamber. “Obviously it’s one of the tracks in the calendar that I don’t know so it was a bit of a challenge to come here and learn the track, but Shane was a massive help to coach me and teach me everything.
“I also think I got a bit lucky because normally it’s super low grip here, but there was something funky with the track today and it’s really high grip, although it did take a while to get going and get used to. After that, we chipped away and I just tried to focus on my driving and get better. At the end we managed a good time, we got to do a bit of race prep stuff, I did a practice start as well, so we are sort of all prepared.”
Qualifying gest underway at 11:40am local time on Saturday.