The first day of the 2013 Bathurst 1000 weekend was punctuated by a series of incidents in the final session of the day, leading to three red flag periods and major repairs required to a few competitors.

TEKNO fared well, with the pace building up across the day. The #97 Team TEKNO V.I.P. Petfoods entry driven by Shane van Gisbergen and “The first Dutchman to race in the Bathurst 1000”, Jeroen Bleekemolen ended the day fifth fastest, on a 2:09.36. The pair are still looking for more speed, with some additional chassis tuning to come tomorrow morning in advance of qualifying in the afternoon.

The #19 Team TEKNO Darrell Lea crew had a day of chassis tuning, trying to find that perfect balance that is required on the mountain. At the end of the day’s running they hadn’t quite found it, finishing the day 25th, however there was plenty to be happy about with Marc Lieb’s pace growing, along with his confidence around the 6.2km circuit. With today being his first hot laps around the challenging Mount Panorama track, he was pleased with the progress. Jonathon Webb is a hard marker, and disappointed with the progress on the chassis, but happy with his co-driver’s progress.

How they saw it:

Jonathon Webb
Team TEKNO Darrell Lea #19 VF Commodore
Thursday Practice finishing position: 25th

“I’m pretty disappointed so far, to be honest. The first session wasn’t too bad, we just took our time, and got comfortable with the car again, and then gave Marc plenty of laps including the co-driver session, he did a good job, it’s just one of those tracks where you need to take your time. At the end of session three there, we were jumping around with the car set-up, but I just can’t get it to do what I want. We’re not too far away, but we just couldn’t find what we needed to go faster. We’ve got a lot of work to do tonight, with not a lot of practice time tomorrow. Hopefully we can get it right before qualifying tomorrow afternoon.

Marc Lieb
Team TEKNO Darrell Lea #19 VF Commodore                                                                      
Thursday Practice finishing position: 25th

“To be honest, I’m pretty happy with myself. Compared to Sandown, it was a lot easier for me to learn the track. At Sandown I was learning the car and the track, and her I’m just able to learn the track. I’m still overdriving the car a little bit in the slow corners, but I’m already quite confident in the fast corners, so it’s good. We still have some issues to sort out with the set-up, we’re still not happy, and Jonathon isn’t very happy, but I’m sure that team and the engineers will work it out, and we’ll have a good car for tomorrow, but more importantly a good car for the race on Sunday.”

Shane van Gisbergen
Team TEKNO V.I.P. Petfoods #97 VF Commodore                                                                  
Thursday Practice finishing position: 5th

“Today we gave a lot of laps to Jeroen, which was great, and then I had a run at the end which I wasn’t happy with, we’re a second off the pace, which is quite a lot. We’ll just work at it, see where we are slow and have another go tomorrow. Car is pretty good, there’s still a lot to find, it’s only early, but top five is OK. We’ll move forward tomorrow. ”

Jeroen Bleekemolen
Team TEKNO V.I.P. Petfoods #97 VF Commodore                                                                  
Thursday Practice finishing position: 5th

“I’m pretty happy. I made good progress, and at the end the pace wasn’t too bad. For sure, there is more to gain, but I think a lot of guys have the same problem. It’s my first time in a V8 here, but it’s looking good. I’m feeling well, and we’re looking for a strong weekend.”