Day one at Clipsal 500 and both Dean & Andrew Taplin were pumped to get the shiny new Lamborghini Gallardo out on the race track. With a single practice sessions & two qualifying sessions they were going to get a decent amount of track time.
Andrew started the practice session but, due to a red flag, the session was cut short & Dean wasn’t able to get any track time.
The afternoon was split into two Qualifying sessions – one per driver. The team elected to send Dean out in Qualifying 1. After only 4 laps Dean set the pace with a 1:.21.7219. No one was able to match the time for the session & he finished the session in P1.
Dean: “I was happy to finish Qualifying in P1 but I was a bit disappointed with my time. I got held up in traffic quite a bit & never managed to get a clear full lap. I had the fastest sector times in all 3 sectors. If I’d managed to get clean run my time would’ve been around the 1:21.1s.”
The GT field had to wait until 6pm for Qualifying 2. By this time the track had cooled down considerably & it didn’t take long for the lap times to drop. After combining the times from the two qualifying sessions, Dean’s time put them in 12th position on the grid for Race 1.
Dean: “I was pretty disappointed with our Qualifying position. I could’ve easily gotten a 1:21.1 in my session if I had a clear run & that would’ve put us in 5th & a much better position for the race. The upside is we’ll have a shorter compulsory pit stop time.”
Teams are given a time penalty as part of their pitstop based on their qualifying positions. With a qualifying position of 12th, Dean & Andrew will be given an extra 50 seconds, 18 seconds less than the poll sitter.
Race 1 of the Australian GT series kicks off at 12:25pm on Friday.