Mark Winterbottom Takes the Lead at Albert Park Supercars as Shane Van Gisbergen and Tim Slade Crash Out

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The debut of the new Gen3 Supercars happened during a half-hour session on a fast circuit in Melbourne. Drivers were all using hard compound tyres, with Winterbottom leading after setting a time of 1m51.017s. Anton De Pasquale then beat that record with a time of 1m50.467s in his Shell Mustang, and was soon replaced by Tim Slade at the top who set a time of 1m50.341s.

Moments earlier, van Gisbergen had the quickest lap time of 1m50.174s which was still the fastest when the session suddenly stopped.

The cause for this sudden pause was Slade who went off track and totaled his PremiAir Camaro on Turn 5 due to losing control while driving into a corner. The car crashed onto the outer wall with great force before finally ending up inside the track right next to Turn 6.

De Pasquale was leading the session with just over 10 minutes left when Winterbottom passed him by setting an even faster time. However, shortly after that, van Gisbergen’s car spun out of control on Turn 8 and hit a wall, which caused a red flag to be released.

This weekend was the end of any racing for Supercars due to time restrictions, which left Winterbottom as the top dog with De Pasquale and van Gisbergen being close behind. Waters took fourth place followed by David Reynolds, Will Davison, Brodie Kostecki and Slade who ended up in eighth spot despite crashing earlier on. Slade told Fox Sports that everyone was feeling a bit uneasy about driving at this circuit for the first time.

I was feeling okay but I wasn’t going too fast in the fast parts. In a couple of turns, I made a mistake and changed gears wrong on one corner. Suddenly, my rear car ended up crashing into the wall. I’m sorry for everyone in the team. After that, we had a half-hour practice at 1:15 pm local time.

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