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De Silvestro leads the Nissan squad

Nissan Motorsport has shown promising speed during the opening day of practice at the Perth SuperSprint today.

Simona De Silvestro leads the Nissan Motorsport squad after setting the 10th fastest across today’s two practice sessions at Barbagallo Raceway. That performance ensures De Silvestro moves into the second part of tomorrow’s knock-out qualifying, which is likely to improve her tyre stocks ahead of the afternoon’s 120km race. The Team Harvey Norman driver’s fastest time of 55.348 seconds was .016 ahead of her nearest teammate.

Michael Caruso narrowly missed out of a Top 10 time, as the Drive Racing driver ended the day with the 12th fastest lap. Caruso will now be required to compete in the first part of qualifying tomorrow, but the team will use the morning’s 20 minute practice session to further refine the Altima’s set-up.

Rick Kelly is coming off the back of a strong double podium performance at the previous round at Phillip Island, as the Castrol Racing driver ended today with the 16th fastest time. Kelly struggled during the opening practice session with electrical issues and he was forced to recover set-up time early in second practice. With the issues now resolved, the 501 race veteran will go all-out-attack during tomorrow’s qualifying.

Andre Heimgartner started his weekend off strongly by setting the fastest time in opening practice around the 2.42km circuit. The Plus Fitness Racing driver ended Practice 1 0.03 seconds ahead of his nearest rival. Heimgartner was unable to repeat that performance during the green tyre runs late in second practice, as he finished the session in 21st. The team is confident his long-run performances across the day will pay dividends during tomorrow’s race.

Saturday at the Perth SuperSprint consists of a third practice session ahead of a three-part knock-out qualifying to decide the grid for the afternoon’s 120km race.

DRIVER QUOTES SIMONA DE SILVESTRO #78 TEAM HARVEY NORMAN : « It was a good day for us today. We’ve been working on a couple of things over the last few rounds and today it came together. So to make it into the second part of qualifying is exciting. It should help us with our tyres and hopefully will see us start the race further up the grid. It’s a tough race over here in Perth because tyre degradation is so high, so we’ll work on the car overnight to ensure we have a good car for the race. » PRACTICE 1: P19 PRACTICE 2: P10

MICHAEL CARUSO #23 DRIVE RACING : « It was a good day overall. To be only just outside the Top 10 is pretty positive at the end of the day. The important thing is now to focus on the practice session tomorrow and to start thinking about how we approach the race. We’ve go to try and qualify into the Top 10 the hard way, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. The benefit of being in that first qualifying session is that you can build up momentum into the next two knock-out phases. » PRACTICE 1: P7 PRACTICE 2: P12

RICK KELLY #15 CASTROL RACING : « I think we’re reasonably positioned ahead of tomorrow. We had a few electrical issues and computer issues which put us behind the 8-ball. The fact the car is reasonably good at the end of the day is a positive, but we weren’t able to get into that Top 10 after Practice 2. So we’ll have to fight it out in that first qualifying session, which is nobody’s aim. This just means we’ll have to use a few more tyres than the others, but we’ll just need to take advantage of a good car tomorrow. » PRACTICE 1: P24 PRACTICE 2: P16

ANDRE HEIMGARTNER #7 PLUS FITNESS RACING : « We had an interesting day. We changed a lot over both sessions and at the end we didn’t quite have it where we wanted. At this track you only need to be slightly outside the window and you won’t be where you want. It was good to be fastest in the first practice, so we’ll reset for tomorrow and go again. The car feels good and we’ll just look at things overnight and go from there. » PRACTICE 1: P1 PRACTICE 2: P21

Press release Nissan Motorsport

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