14 SEP 2018
A top ten in the sun at Sandown
The Nissan Motorsport Harvey Norman Altima has finished the day's three practice sessions in 8th position today under warm and sunny skies at Sandown Raceway.
Co-driver Alex Rullo made his RABBLE.club Sandown 500 Nissan debut in fine form, completing the first practice session of the day in fourth place. Regular pilot of the #78 machine, Simona De Silvestro, finished her single practice session in 23rd place after making several changes to improve the car's balance ahead of the final session.
The Industrial Athlete pairing of Michael Caruso and Dean Fiore finished the day in 13th position with Fiore the fastest of the Nissan Altima's in the first practice session, completing his run in second place.
Rick Kelly and Garry Jacobson completed a solid day of practice in their #15 Castrol Racing Altima ending their run in position 16. Both Rick and Garry were happy with the car balance but did not complete a clean run on green tyres.
Sporting a new sponsor and new colours for the weekend, Andre Heimgartner and Aaren Russell finished the day in 19th in their ACE Kangan #7 Altima. Engineering the car to be fast in the race was their main focus, and as such did not post their fastest time today.
Looking ahead to tomorrow, inclement weather is expected to shake up the field with rain, wind and much cooler conditions predicted.
Saturday's on-track activity consists of one practice session, one qualifying session and two 60km races.
#78 TEAM HARVEY NORMAN
SIMONA DE SILVESTRO
"We were ok today and Alex did a really good job. We're working on a few things for tomorrow to make it feel a little bit better. I didn't get that much time in the car today, tomorrow there will be a bit more pressure to get it right when we put the new tyres on."
"I'm really happy with the car and I'm gelling really well with the Team. The test day that we did was really beneficial for me, I'm also enjoying working with Simona. Tomorrow's weather will throw a spanner in the works, it was wet last year as well. The setup isn't that different in the dry and the wet, I'm comfortable in the car in the dry so hopefully we will have a good day."
#23 INDUSTRIAL ATHLETE
"It's good to get some laps, particularly after the first practice session where Dean went out and had a good session in the car. I probably didn't get the best lap out of it so we aren't too concerned. Tomorrow is looking like it's going to be wet so we need to get it right in qualifying."
"It's great to be back in the car with Michael. The Team are always really welcoming and it's nice to start off our campaign in such beautiful conditions. The car itself feels great, i feel really comfortable in it. I'm looking forward to working with Michael to develop it ahead of Sunday's big race."
#15 CASTROL RACING
"It was a good initial day for us in the endure season. Garry was nice and quick. We did a lot of running in our session trying to find a good car balance and good fuel economy for the race which are very different requirements for this event. The pace in our session wasn't ideal we we've got a little bit of work to do there."
"We are trying out some different styles to achieve the best lap time with our set-up direction. We need a bit more front grip to get that lap time. Now it's just a matter of being consistent and we'll see what the rest of the weekend brings. The weather tomorrow will mix things up, but you earn your wage when you have to drive in the different conditions from day to day".
#7 ACE KANGAN
"It was a good start today, Aaren also did a good job. Hopefully we can improve on that overnight and have a good day tomorrow. Tomorrow will be tough, this track is horrendous in the wet, there will be lots of drama. I'm loving my new colours this weekend, i seem to be going faster!"
"I'm feeling pretty comfortable in the car. That was more of a race run but we're pretty happy. But it's all going to change tomorrow if it rains. Generally these cars have been pretty good in the wet so i'm hoping that will be the case tomorrow and we can move forward."