Adelaide 500 Practice officially begins 2018 V8 Supercars season

Supercars Adelaide 500 ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 02: Drivers pose for the official 2018 Supercars drivers photo during qualifying for Supercars Adelaide 500 on March 2, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

The green activated, practice session number one for the 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars season officially started the teams and drivers campaign. The streets of South Australia will ‘roar into life’ from Friday as the Adelaide 500 practice session lets teams put down a marker.

Adelaide 500 Practice officially begins 2018 V8 Supercars season

It began with a full day of both Supercars practice (two sessions), followed by the all-important Qualifying for Race One. That was broken by the popular support classes: Dunlop Super 2 Series, Porsche Carrera Cup, Audi R8 LMS Cup. Plus the highly entertaining ECB SuperUtes Series.

The Adelaide 500 is the traditional first race on the calendar and is one of the biggest weekends in Australian sport. Expect over 250,000 to walk through the gates.

With the 26 drivers all excited to get racing, at times it is hard to not go out ‘too hard, too early’. The temptation for many will be to get their foot into it–yet older veterans will know that the race is won on Sunday. Practice is essential, yet performance is primary.

That will see senior drivers taking their time. Knowing that, some of the so called ‘newbies’ are not inexperienced. Fresh faces like Richie Stanaway, are successfull in classes like GP2, Formula Ford and especially in Porsche race cars. That ‘tin top’ experience will transfer well, plus his Endurance performances from 2017.

Todd Hazelwood is another of the newest signings for the feature championship, after winning the support series in 2017. With his Formula 3 background, an opportunity on the reality television series ‘Shannons Supercar Showdown’, landing a test driver role with Ford Performance Racing for ’14.

And of course, Hazelwood is a South Australian native. Expect the local boy to shine brightly, against the bigger names.

Late Crash ends reigning Champs Qualifying session

2017 reigning Virgin Australia V8 Supercars champion Jamie Whincup will rue his late mistake on the high speed corner eight. Heavy damage to his rear quarter will need plenty of attention. Expect the Red Bull Holden Australia mechanics to be up extremely late.

Whincup was not the only victim of turn eight. Cameron Waters put his Monster Energy Falcon into the wall early in the day. It was severe enough to omit him from qualifying. Tickford Racing Tim Edwards told “The boys are working hard to repair it. It’ll be fine for tomorrow, but qualifying is highly unlikely.”

Those engineers will be looking to make running-repairs but the chassis’ on many teams cars will have to reconfigured back at their bases. For now, just getting the cars out for Saturday morning practice, will be a big ask. But, the same occurs on each race weekend. The pressure is always on.

And for the Adelaide 500, with relatively new machinery, the time for testing is over. Qualifying is complete. It’s now all or nothing.

ADELAIDE 500 – TOP 10 SHOOTOUT: 11.55am (Local time)

RACE ONE (72 laps): Race start 15.20pm

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