Dale Wood has topped an intense day of practice for Round 2 of the Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia at The Bend Motorsport Park, while Adrian Flack topped the order in Morris Finance Pro-Am.
Wood, driving the Timken 911 GT3 Cup Car for Ashley Seward Motorsport, set his fastest time of 1m51.3346s on his eighth of nine laps in the second practice session of the day at the South Australian circuit.
The Victorian driver topped a remarkably competitive Mobil Pro class that saw the top 15 cars covered by little more than one second today.
Wood edged out young Kiwi and Michelin Junior Matthew Payne for the fastest time of the day, the Team Porsche NZ runner missing the ultimate benchmark by a scant 0.0992s.
The tiny margin at the top was the theme of the day with the 26-strong field once again proving to be enormously competitive.
“It’s a good way to finish the day, being quickest in session two,” Wood said.
“We struggled in session one. We had a great test day here and I think probably after the test day we left with a good outright, one-lap fast car but I don’t know that we’ve got a fast enough race car, so that was a real focus for today.
“We definitely learned something in that second session. I was a bit surprised to finish off second fastest because I still don’t think that’s good enough – we’ve still got to work away at that yet.”
Following a solid opening round at Sandown, 18-year-old New Zealand star Matthew Payne impressed in practice at The Bend as he continued to come to grips with his SP Tools-backed Earl Bamber Motorsport GT3 Cup Car.
“The second session was mega. The track changed quite a bit from the first one, there was about a second difference in the times, so the car got a lot better towards the end and we placed the time early on,” he said.
“Car was mega and I can’t thank these guys enough.”
Porsche Centre Melbourne’s Nick McBride was third overall with David Russell, who returns to the Lago Racing #23 entry this weekend, and championship leader Cameron Hill completing the top five.
Michael Almond, Jackson Walls, David Wall, Cooper Murray and round one polesitter Harri Jones completed the practice top-10 which featured a remarkable eight different teams.
Most drivers set their fastest laps in the afternoon session, though practice one held earlier in the day was no less competitive.
Cameron Hill topped that 25-minute session, one that finished with the top 15 cars covered by 0.68 seconds in an indication of what is to come in Qualifying – to be held on Saturday morning.
In Morris Finance Pro-Am, Adrian Flack topped both sessions at The Bend today, edging out Sam Shahin in each.
Dean Cook, Geoff Emery and Tim Miles completed the top five in the first session, with the same five locking out the top spots in the second; though Miles and Emery swapped positions.
“We didn’t really know what to expect when we came here but to be fastest at this stage is really good. Tomorrow is what really counts so I’m really looking forward to that,” Flack, who finished second in the opening round of the Morris Finance Pro-Am championship, said.
“The track was really green in practice one so it was a real challenge, especially in the high speed to keep the thing on the black stuff, but practice two was much better – the track came to us and we were able to put out some good laps.”
The Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup Australia field returns to the track at 10:10am local time on Saturday for what is sure to be an intensely competitive qualifying session.