Kiwi on mission after Bathurst
SHANE van Gisbergen put the disappointment of Bathurst behind him to top final practice times for the Gold Coast 600.
Van Gisbergen and Team Tekno VIP Petfoods owner Jonno Webb topped the times yesterday after having victory at Mt Panorama snatched from their grasp with 10 laps to go in the great race.
The New Zealander headed off Pirtek Enduro Cup contenders James Courtney and Greg Murphy from Holden Racing Team and last year's Gold Coast 600 Champions, Dave Reynolds and Dean Canto.
Van Gisbergen, who suffered a starter-motor failure while leading within sight of the finish at Bathurst, said he had quickly re-focused for the job this weekend.
"Monday (after Bathurst) was pretty tough but last week I was playing around at Time Attack and took it out on a pretty angry car," he said. "I am over it now and ready to move on.
"Today was about getting use to the track. It was pretty good all day and we had good speed."
Bathurst winners Chaz Mostert and Paul Morris were fourth fastest.
Gold Coaster Morris said he hoped the good fortune the pair had at Bathurst continued ahead of races today and tomorrow.
"The Pirtek Enduro Cup means a lot to me," Morris said. "Sandown has a lot of history, Bathurst has a lot of history and I personally have been racing here since 1992 on my home streets, so to be in contention to for that (Pirtek Enduro Cup) and the chance to win it is exciting.
"If Chaz and I could put our name on that trophy it would be awesome."
The veteran driver said he would have to take a more aggressive approach if he and Mostert were to continue their winning ways.
"It's tough when you're an old guy like me ... to get on the wheel and attack those chicanes," he said.
"If I can get through that, I'll give it over to Chaz and watch him work his magic."
Defending champion Reynolds was the leading Ford and prospered from a slick green-tyre run to grab the third fastest time.
Queenslander Craig Lowndes came home 13th in his Red Bull Commodore.
The session was red-flagged with around 10 minutes to go for maintenance to a tyre bundle, while more drivers were pinged for overuse, Rick Kelly just one who copped a two-minute stop penalty.
A top-10 shootout will be held this morning followed by championship races this afternoon and tomorrow.
- APN SPORTS BUREAU