The Bend Supercars: Randle fastest in additional drivers session
Thomas Randle made a perfect start to his Supercars debut weekend, toppling the additional drivers practice session at The Bend.
James Moffat was fastest out of the blocks with a 1m51.743s, before a two-lap effort from Garth Tander lowered the benchmark to 1m51.290s on the six-minute mark.
Moffat returned serve shortly before the mid-point of the half-hour session, a 1m51.012s putting the #55 Tickford Mustang back on top.
That was followed by a curious moment for Jono Webb, the Tekno Holden driver running wide on the straight between Turns 12 and 13.
"I said to all of the boys, after I went through all of that and gathered it back up, I said I definitely can’t do two things at once," he later explained.
"I was looking down and playing with bars and a few other things, looked up and realised I had run out of road. So yeah, I’ll steer clear of that one next time."
As the session ticked into its final third Erebus driver Will Brown made his move, slotting into third before grabbing top spot with a 1m50.948s.
Brown's stint as the pacesetter was short-lived, however, Tander pulling well clear of the field with a pair of laps that left him with a 1m50.311s.
With three minutes to go Randle charged to the top, becoming then first driver into the 49s for the weekend with a 1m49.909s.
Tim Blanchard looked set to challenge Randle's time in the final minute with a purple first sector, before getting stuck behind a Nissan midway through the lap.
Tander also set a purple opening sector on his final lap, but was unable to improve.
In the end the closest anyone got to Randle was his Tickford teammate Michael Caruso, who popped up in second with a 1m50.073s right at the flag.
Tander ended up third followed by Dean Canto, while Brown and Moffat slipped back to fifth and sixth.
Alex Davison and Blanchard were next best, with Craig Lowndes and Dale Wood rounding out the Top 10.
The first proper practice session kicks off at 1:10pm local time.
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