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Michael Caruso tops V8 Supercars Gold Coast 600 practice

October 19, 2012

Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden driver Michael Caruso has knocked off the big-budget team drivers to set the fastest time in Friday practice for this weekend’s Gold Coast 600 at Surfers Paradise in Queensland.

Team Fujitsu are known for being street circuit specialists and Caruso said afterwards he was pleased with his Commodore’s pace right from the get go.

“It was a great starting performance for the weekend. The car was excellent out of the truck today and I was really pleased,” Caruso said. “We’ve got a great team and (co-driver) James (Hinchcliffe) did an excellent job.”

Ford Performance Racing’s Mark Winterbottom was less than a tenth behind while stable mate and Bathurst 1000  arunner up David Reynolds was third fastest.

Winterbottom said oil on the circuit kept him from setting an even faster time and said co-driver – Australian IndyCar star Will Power – performed well.

“There was quite a bit of oil on the track on my last timed lap,” Winterbottom said. “So while I didn’t grab top spot I was happy with the time I did early in the session.

“We’re both comfortable in the car and apart from the usual things we’ll change before qualifying everything is going well. The car is well-balanced, you can really lean on it and it is really enjoyable to drive.”

Power said he was confident he and Winterbottom could take out at least one of the two 300km races..

“It is definitely possible to win this weekend given how quick Mark is and how quick the car is,” Power said.

“I am enjoying driving around here and driving a V8 Supercar is a unique experience. I am definitely getting accustomed to the car and it is going to be quick in the race.

“Frosty will also be right on it in qualifying so I think we have the pace to start fairly far up the grid.”

Meanwhile Tekno Autosports driver Marc Lieb has out paced his co-driver and team owner Jonathon Webb to top the timesheets in the c0-drivers only session. Lieb was a couple of a tenths ahead of the next best, Holden Racing Team driver Ryan Briscoe who also out-paced co-driver Garth Tander. Stone Brothers Racing’s Simon Pagenaud (Lee Holdsworth’s co-driver) was just a whisker behind for third.

Saturday will have qualifying, the top 10 shootout and the first of two 300km races.

V8 Supercars Gold Coast 600 Practice 3 (co-drivers only)

1.    19     Marc Lieb     Holden    01:12:4673
2.    2     Ryan Briscoe     Holden    01:12:6980
3.    4     Simon Pagenaud     Ford    01:12:7036
4.    8     S. Stephane     Holden    01:12:9060
5.    888     Richard Lyons     Holden    01:13:0229
6.    47     David Brabham     Ford    01:13:1010
7.    6     Mika Salo     Ford    01:13:1147
8.    1     S. Bourdais     Holden    01:13:1262
9.    55     Nick Heidfeld     Ford    01:13:1766
10.    22     Darren Turner     Holden    01:13:2325
11.    5     Will Power     Ford    01:13:2577
12.    11     F. Montagny     Holden    01:13:3041
13.    34     J. Hinchcliffe     Holden    01:13:3904
14.    12     G. Morbidelli     Ford    01:13:4353
15.    9     J. Bleekemolen     Ford    01:13:5543
16.    51     Justin Wilson     Holden    01:13:6237
17.    14     N. Minassian     Holden    01:13:7201
18.    3     Tonio Liuzzi     Ford    01:13:7609
19.    66     Peter Dumbreck     Holden    01:13:8161
20.    30     Mike Conway     Holden    01:13:8442
21.    15     Graham Rahal     Holden    01:13:8823
22.    33     Ricky Taylor     Holden    01:13:9774
23.    49     Boris Said     Ford    01:14:1096
24.    21     J.Campbell-WaterHolden    01:14:1380
25.    7     Marco Andretti     Holden    01:14:2698
26.    18     Peter Kox     Ford    01:14:5926
27.    17     Max Papis     Ford    01:15:0679

V8 Supercars Gold Coast 600 Practice 4

1.    34     Michael Caruso     Holden    01:11:6912
2.    5     M. Winterbottom Ford    01:11:7891
3.    55     D. Reynolds    Ford    01:11:9380
4.    3     Tony D’Alberto     Ford    01:12:0753
5.    1     Jamie Whincup     Holden    01:12:0986
6.    6     Will Davison     Ford    01:12:1476
7.    47     Tim Slade     Ford    01:12:1586
8.    18     James Moffat     Ford    01:12:1884
9.    22     James Courtney     Holden    01:12:2834
10.    888     Craig Lowndes     Holden    01:12:3185
11.    15     Rick Kelly     Holden    01:12:3206
12.    33     Greg Ritter     Holden    01:12:3368
13.    4     Lee Holdsworth     Ford    01:12:3529
14.    9     S.van Gisbergen Ford    01:12:4041
15.    66     Russell Ingall     Holden    01:12:4137
16.    14     F. Coulthard    Holden    01:12:4930
17.    17     Steven Johnson     Ford    01:12:5025
18.    8     Jason Bright     Holden    01:12:7288
19.    11     Karl Reindler     Holden    01:12:7530
20.    19     Jonathon Webb    Holden    01:12:7675
21.    2     Garth Tander     Holden    01:12:8090
22.    49     Steve Owen     Ford    01:12:8257
23.    12     Dean Fiore     Ford    01:12:8806
24.    51     Greg Murphy     Holden    01:12:9602
25.    91     Michael Patrizi Holden    01:13:0460
26.    30     Taz Douglas     Holden    01:13:0535
27.    7     Tim Blanchard     Holden    01:13:0688
28.    21     David Wall     Holden    01:13:3678

Josh Barnett specialises in motorsport and road testing. His passion for cars is long and wide, and his experience is just as impressive. Josh's work has appeared in titles such as Street Commodores and Fox Sports.