Sandown 500: Kelly fastest in tricky final practice

A well-timed switch from wet weather tyres to slicks helped Nissan Motorsport's Rick Kelly top a final Sandown 500 practice session held in mixed conditions.

Sandown 500: Kelly fastest in tricky final practice

The 15-minute session got underway on a damp circuit thanks to overnight storms, offering a stark contract to yesterday's prime conditions.

James Golding the first to get caught out by the lack of grip with a spin on his out-lap, the GRM driver grazing the wall with the rear of his Commodore. That spelt the end of his session on the spot, the team opting to assess the damage rather than carry on.

Times initially languished in the 1m18s, before Shane van Gisbergen lowered the benchmark with a two-lap stint that started with a mid-1m17s and ended with a 1m16.623s before handing over to co-driver Earl Bamber.

With five minutes to go Chaz Mostert went quickest with a 1m14.16.316s, before David Reynolds broke the 1m16s bracket with a 1m15.847s.

Jamie Whincup was next to piece together a two-lap stint to go quickest with a 1m15.292s, at which point a number of drivers made the decision to gamble on slicks.

It was a gamble worth taking too, Garth Tander the first to see a pay-off with a 1m15.160s, followed by Rick Kelly's session-topping 1m14.344s right at the flag.

"You don’t learn a lot from a session like that as far as the car, but [it tells you] what lines you need to use in the wet and the change-over point from wets to slicks,” said Kelly.

“Yesterday wasn’t too bad, we had some tyre sets we thought would be okay and weren’t which dictated our position.

"We’ve got a couple of gremlins in the car we need to get on top of, normal Sandown stuff.

“But today will be about staying on top of the conditions and making sure you’re on the right tyre at the right time.”

Whincup's wet tyres time was good enough to be third quickest behind Kelly and Tander, followed by late improvers Nick Percat, James Courtney and Anton De Pasquale all on wets.

Michael Caruso, Todd Hazelwood and Richie Stanaway were next in line with times set on slicks, with Reynolds rounding out the Top 10 with that earlier time on the wet Dunlops.

Cla # Driver Car Time Gap
1 15 Australia Rick Kelly
Garry Jacobson
Nissan Altima 1'14.3447  
2 33 Australia Garth Tander
New Zealand Chris Pither
Holden Commodore ZB 1'15.1601 0.8154
3 1 Australia Jamie Whincup
Paul Dumbrell
Holden Commodore ZB 1'15.2925 0.9478
4 8 Australia Nick Percat
Australia Macauley Jones
Holden Commodore ZB 1'15.4365 1.0918
5 25 Australia James Courtney
Jack Perkins
Holden Commodore ZB 1'15.4387 1.0940
6 99 Australia Will Brown
Anton de
Holden Commodore ZB 1'15.5759 1.2312
7 23 Australia Michael Caruso
Australia Dean Fiore
Nissan Altima 1'15.6054 1.2607
8 35 Australia Bryce Fullwood
Australia Todd Hazelwood
Ford Falcon FG X 1'15.7206 1.3759
9 56 New Zealand Richie Stanaway
Australia Steven Owen
Ford Falcon FG X 1'15.7903 1.4456
10 9 Australia David Reynolds
Australia Luke Youlden
Holden Commodore ZB 1'15.8472 1.5025
11 2 Australia Warren Luff
Australia Scott Pye
Holden Commodore ZB 1'15.8600 1.5153
12 888 New Zealand Steven Richards
Australia Craig Lowndes
Holden Commodore ZB 1'15.9759 1.6312
13 78 Switzerland Simona de Silvestro
Australia Alex Rullo
Nissan Altima 1'16.0799 1.7352
14 17 France Alexandre Prémat
New Zealand Scott McLaughlin
Ford Falcon FG X 1'16.0921 1.7474
15 18 Australia Lee Holdsworth
Australia Jason Bright
Holden Commodore ZB 1'16.3064 1.9617
16 55 Australia Chaz Mostert
Australia James Moffat
Ford Falcon FG X 1'16.3164 1.9717
17 6 Australia David Russell
Australia Cameron Waters
Ford Falcon FG X 1'16.3418 1.9971
18 97 New Zealand Earl Bamber
New Zealand Shane van Gisbergen
Holden Commodore ZB 1'16.6237 2.2790
19 21 Australia Dale Wood
Australia Tim Blanchard
Holden Commodore ZB 1'16.7012 2.3565
20 12 Australia Tony D'Alberto
New Zealand Fabian Coulthard
Ford Falcon FG X 1'16.7296 2.3849
21 230 Australia Alex Davison
Australia Will Davison
Ford Falcon FG X 1'16.8786 2.5339
22 5 Australia Mark Winterbottom
Australia Dean Canto
Ford Falcon FG X 1'16.9732 2.6285
23 14 Australia Tim Slade
Australia Ash Walsh
Holden Commodore ZB 1'17.2941 2.9494
24 19 Australia Jonathon Webb
Australia Jack Le Brocq
Holden Commodore ZB 1'17.8832 3.5385
25 7 New Zealand Andre Heimgartner
Australia Aaren Russell
Nissan Altima 1'18.1416 3.7969
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