Practice One Complete
The V8 Supercars have kicked off their American adventure, with Holden driver Fabian Coulthard fastest in opening Practice for the weekend's four races at the Austin 400.
Drivers got their first taste of the 3.7km Circuit of the Americas track – a stunning purpose-built facility featuring several elevation changes and myriad turns – in the 30-minute session.
But it was New Zealander Coulthard whose Lockwood Racing entry set a fastest lap of 1min 34.3942sec.
While for most drivers it was their first lap of the circuit, Coulthard was one of two who had previously lapped Circuit of the Americas in a V8 during a promotional visit last month.
Nissan driver James Moffat was second fastest – half a second slower than Coulthard – with Shane van Gisbergen third quickest in a Holden.
Series leader Jamie Whincup was well down, 26th fastest of the 28 cars in his Red Bull Racing entry.
But Whincup's Holden did more laps than any other in the session, suggesting reconnaissance rather than speed was on his mind.
The most spectacular incident was when Holden driver Jonathon Webb struggled with an engine late in the session, smoke billowing from the car as it speared off track.
Extra practice sessions have been scheduled for all drivers to allow them to learn the brand new track, with four sessions throughout the day ahead of Qualifying and two races on Sunday (AEST).