Erebus dominates Bathurst 1000 practice sessions

Erebus' Will Brown (pictured) and David Russell were quickest in opening practice sessions at Bathurst on Thursday.

Erebus' Will Brown (pictured) and David Russell were quickest in opening practice sessions at Bathurst on Thursday. Photo: Getty

Supercars series-leading Erebus has claimed the opening two practice sessions in a promising early sign for their hopes of a historic breakthrough at the Bathurst 1000.

After Will Brown set the early pace by going fastest in the first practice at Mount Panorama, David Russell dominated the co-driver session on Thursday afternoon from start to finish.

Russell is partnered with championship leader Brodie Kostecki for the great race as the pair aim to better their third-place finish together in 2021.

Five-time Bathurst 1000 winner Garth Tander showed his class by going second fastest in his first great race since the former Holden favourite’s shock switch to driving a Ford.

Richie Stanaway, who is paired with three-time series champion Shane van Gisbergen, came in third.

Kostecki has a 155-point lead over van Gisbergen ahead of this year’s Bathurst classic.

Erebus’ Brown and Kostecki have propelled Coca Cola Racing into leading the driver’s championship, ahead of the perennial Red Bull Ampol juggernaut of van Gisbergen and Broc Feeney.

Brown topped the times earlier on Thursday after finishing ahead of Ford’s Matt Payne and Kostecki.

Kostecki was quickest until he handed over his Chevrolet Camaro to co-driver David Russell about halfway through the session when Brown and Payne were able to pip that early lap.

Brown, who will move to Red Bull Ampol next season, will be out to add to his four race wins this year in Sunday’s great race.

Two-time Bathurst 1000 champion Chaz Mostert, who last won in 2021, came in fourth sporting fluoro purple hair.

Swiss driver Simona de Silvestro endured a difficult return to the mountain with the former full-time Supercars driver recording the 28th and slowest time.

It comes after a morning of drama at Mount Panorama with Supercars rejecting proposed technical changes to Ford vehicles.

In a rare show of unity, all Ford teams – led by Shell V-Power, Walkinshaw Andretti United and Tickford – came together to issue a joint statement about what they deem a lack of parity with their Chevrolet rivals.

“The independent data shows that the Mustang will be at a continued disadvantage for the biggest race of the year, which we believe is unacceptable – and not what our sport is built upon,” the statement said.

Two more practice sessions will take place on Friday before the first qualifying session later in the day.


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