LIVE DIARY: Newcastle 500 Friday

3:40pm And we’re done! Jamie finishes in P2 (1:10.0294) and Shane comes through P14 (1:10.4238) after noting some issues throughout the session. We caught up them post-session to see how they feel about the new track:

Jamie Whincup – Car #88

“Practice 1 was great, we really worked hard during the session to make the car fast. That’s the same with Practice 2, we moved forward but just didn’t get a good run on our green tyres at the end. Unfortunately our main championship rival is up the road a fair bit as far as pace goes. We’re not shocked by it, it’s been the story of the year really – they (DJR Team Penske) are just very, very quick and we have to do what we can. The track’s hot and it’s forever gripping up and getting faster and faster. At one stage there we were doing mid-11s and by the end, the quickest time was a mid-nine so the track will just get quicker. Qualifying will be important too because there’s not a huge amount of passing opportunities, being a short amount of track.”

Shane van Gisbergen – Car #97

“The first practice session was good, it went really well and I thought the car was great. It was just about getting used to track and our pace was quite competitive. However, in the second session it was off from the get-go, something was broken, so we will need to figure out what that was. The track is good, there’s not a lot of passing opportunities so it’s all about qualifying but it’s awesome to drive, it’s really fun.”

2:55pm We’re off for the second and final practice session – important to get things right going into qualifying tomorrow.

12:50pm A successful practice session for our Bulls with J-Dub setting the first lap record (1:10.1577) and coming in P1 while SVG wasn’t far behind in P3 (1:10.6121).

12:07pm Here we go!

12:00pm Our first practice session is set to begin and J-Dub and SVG will cut their first ever laps on the ‘Newy’ circuit, we can’t wait!

9:45am We were stoked to see so many fans out at our first merchandise signing today… We’ll be back tomorrow at 12:35pm so don’t forget to collect your signing card first thing in the morning to secure your spot.

8:00am Well here we are… At the first official day of the first ever Newcastle 500! It’s set to be a huge weekend of activity with practice kicking off today.