Scott McLaughlin from Fujitsu Racing finished the first ever Friday test on top knocking off Fabian Coulthard by 0.17s at the Circuit of the Americas.
All teams are allocated seven sets of tyres for this weekends round, due to the track being very green most teams went out on their wets to rubber in the circuit and collect pre-race data.
Slick tyres made an appearance later in the first practiced session with Coulthard setting the fastest time of 1:34.39s ahead of James Moffat, Shane Van Gisbergan, Jason Bright and Will Davison. McLaughlin who never used his set of slicks proved that you don’t have to be conventional to be quick.
Jonathon Webb brought out the Red Flag which ended the session due to an oil line leak sending him off the track at turn one in smoky fashion.
The car was recovered and was made available for the Second Practice Session.
Practice Session 4
No Surprise to see Red Bull Australia driver Craig Lownds on top in the final session of the day. There was a late run to the finish with a several drivers topping the session as they crossed the line.
This time most drivers were using their slicks to post fast laps and even using two sets.
Lownds finished 10th, 12th and 13th in the previous sessions mainly driving on wets.
Not happy with the balance on his first set of slicks, Craig decided to complete a single hot lap on a second new set in Practice 4; jumping to the head of the pack by a full 1.3s with just six minutes remaining.
A host of other drivers also moved to a second set of slicks late in the going, with the top 10 each setting their fastest times on their final run of the day.
Will Davison went closest to Lowndes’ benchmark in the closing minutes, falling 0.34s short of his Holden rival’s 1:32.90s effort to be second fastest in his Pepsi Max FPR Falcon. Jonathon Webb, Chaz Mostert, James Courtney, Tony D’Alberto, Alex Davison, Tim Slade and Shane Van Gisbergen completed the top 10.