th fastest lap in this afternoon’s shootout. “I’m not concerned, but others might be,” said Whincup. “We’re just doing our thing, trying to run through our test plan and we were able to do that successfully. There might be signs I’m on the way back, we’ll find out in Adelaide.” Nissan Motorsport’s Rick Kelly – who was one of the fastest men across the weekend – said that he heads to the Clipsal 500 with some confidence, and excitement in their new found pace. “We stuck to our plan and popped out on top of the time sheets a couple of times, so for us that is good, we can take that as a good step forward,” Kelly said. “All of the work the guys have done over the summer has clearly paid off, now we head to the first round in the best shape we ever have with Nissan.” Temperatures skyrocketed in Sydney, as cars were released in reverse 2014 Championship order for their one lap dash, with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport’s Tim Blanchard first out of the gate, having joined the series as a full-timer this season. Blanchard’s 1min33.5486’s was immediately eclipsed by Volvo’s newest recruit David Wall, and while the followers lost their laps for overusing the track limits, Nissan’s Todd Kelly jumped into the ‘32s’ with a 1min32.8378 off the back of recording the fastest time yesterday. Eyes were on DJR Team Penske’s Marcos Ambrose, and he delivered, with his lap over one second quicker than the times previously recorded, with a 1min31.774. James Moffat sat at the top for a time, and while his Nissan teammate Michael Caruso was faster, his time was revoked after failing to arrive at pit exit when required. Mostert then pounced with a 1min30.658 lap and while James Courtney, teammate Mark Winterbottom and then Shane van Gisbergen – thousandths away – all challenged; it finally came down to the six-time champ. But even Whincup couldn’t topple the FG X racer, 0.9167sec off the pace, landing 12th after some small errors in his shootout lap. The season opening Clipsal 500 will start in Adelaide on Thursday, February 27.]]>
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