Sandown 500: D’Alberto and Penske finish Friday fastest

DJR Team Penske’s Tony D’Alberto finished the third and final Friday practice session for the Sandown 500 fastest in the #17 Ford.

Sandown 500: D’Alberto and Penske finish Friday fastest
Scott Pye and Tony D’alberto, DJR Team Penske
Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Chaz Mostert and Steve Owen, Rod Nash Racing Ford
Fabian Coulthard and Luke Youlden, Team Penske Ford
Michael Caruso and Dean Fiore, Nissan Motorsports

D’Alberto, who will drive alongside Scott Pye, wound up fastest in the second all-co-driver session of the day, jumping to the top with around eight minutes to go with a 1m09.165s.

That time proved unbeatable, D’Alberto rounding out Friday with a P1 after having been second fastest in the second session earlier today.

Steve Richards was second fastest in the #888 Commodore, capping off a promising day for he and primary driver Craig Lowndes. Despite falling 0.06s short of D’Alberto’s time, Richards was impressed with the TeamVortex entry at the end of his second 30-minute session. 

“It’s the best car I’ve ever driven,” he said. “I know it’s early days, but we’re really making good in-roads. Hopefully it stays that way.”

Steve Owen was third fastest in the #55 Prodrive Ford, having jumped Holden Racing Team’s Warren Luff inside the last 10 minutes. Luff held on to fourth in the #2 Commodore, with Luke Youlden putting the #66 DJR Team Penske Ford fifth fastest.

Dean Fiore put in a good showing in the #23 Nissan to go sixth fastest, comfortably best of the Altimas, while early pacesetter Alex Premat slipped down to seventh in the #97 Red Bull car.

Jono Webb was eighth in the Tekno Commodore, Paul Dumbrell ninth in the #88 Red Bull car, and James Golding the best-placed Volvo in P10.

It was a remarkably close session, with the Top 24 cars all separated by 0.081s.

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Sandown 500: Richards puts Triple Eight on top
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