Kiwi young gun Shane van Gisbergen proved age is no hurdle when setting the pace at the V8 Supercar Championship Series official pre-season test at Queensland Raceway.

The 20-year old SP Tools Racing driver, the youngest in the 2010 field, posted the quickest lap of the day during the afternoon session, with Jim Beam Racing's James Courtney making it a Ford one-two for the Queensland-based V8 Supercar teams. Russell Ingall was third fastest after unveiling the new-look Supercheap Auto Racing Commodore, while Jonathon Webb (Dick Johnson Racing) and Dean Fiore (Triple F Racing) rounded out the top five.

But while van Gisbergen was the man to beat, he acknowledged that it will mean little when he gets to the season-opener at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit on 18 February.

"This afternoon, we got the car really good on a better set of tyres," the Kiwi said, "We were mid-pack and we put on the new set of tyres, like most other people did, and we were straight to the top. But you don't get any trophies for a test day - we're just hanging out for Abu Dhabi and getting ready for that. We're all hanging out to get over there and hopefully we're up there again."

Courtney, meanwhile, clocked the second fastest lap of the day in 1min 10.761secs, after a new set of tyres were fitted to his FG Falcon. The 29-year old driver completed a total of 105 laps during the test, 57 in the second session.

"I've been busy with family things recently, so it was good to get back into a race car again," he admitted, "Everything felt fast at first, which is normal coming off a two-month break. I did a couple of long stints to start with, just to familiarise myself, and it didn't take long to get comfortable.

"We have a good base set-up with this car from last year, so we tried some different things outside our normal window to see how the car responded. We didn't have a lot of good tyres to use so, in the second session, we waited for the weather to clear before the new rubber went on the car. I did five or six short stints, and I was able to keep doing good lap times as the types got older.

"The track grip wasn't that good today, especially at the start, but it got better. I did more than 100 laps and my fitness seems good. This is my second season with Jim Beam Racing - we have got good continuity our whole package and I can't wait for the racing to start."

Meanwhile, Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup debuted TeamVodafone's two new Holden Commodore VEs, finishing the test tenth and eleventh fastest respectively. Despite not setting the pace, however, Whincup believes the change to Holden from Ford is a great motivation for his title defence.

"I'm feeling good and it's a whole new motivation trying to get the Holden up to speed," he said, "The challenge in making the car competitive is one that's keeping us going at the moment, it's one that's going to make us strong. If we were here doing the same thing as last year, there wouldn't be anywhere near the morale within the team. It's a new challenge, it's exciting. We're not at the end of the road yet, we've got a lot of work to do, but fingers crossed we're on track."

Team-mate Lowndes said that, while the weather conditions weren't ideal, the team had come away with a better understanding of how the car responds.

"Wet conditions weren't exactly the right warm-up for the hot and dry conditions at Abu Dhabi and Bahrain over the next couple of weeks, but we got to run through some set-ups with the car," Lowndes said, "It seems to be responding well and not too different in some areas to the Falcon. The one notable difference is that the Holden feels a lot more stable at the back.

"We weren't the quickest in testing, but we've not really had the chance to put our best foot forward either, so I am looking forward to getting back out here on Friday, hopefully with no rain interruptions."

IRWIN Racing's Alex Davison completed 129 laps over the day and set the seventh quickest time.

"We missed a lot of the dry running in the first half of the day with the weather situation," he reported, "The second half of the day was better and, although we would have liked to be closer to the top of the timesheets, we certainly learnt a lot. It was my first day working with David Stuart as my engineer, and that relationship is still evolving. Although we didn't make the best use of the one set of fresh tyres we had, we made some very positive changes at the end of the day which has me really looking forward to the Middle East."

Tim Slade, who now has his first test day with SBR under his belt, was happy with what the team achieved throughout the day with the new #47 Wilson Security Racing Falcon.

"The test for me was really about coming to grips with the Wilson Security Falcon and building my relationship with the team and Wes, my engineer," he said, "Throughout the day, our pace was good, but we probably got a bit lost with the tyres because we had no history of them when the racing license was transferred. At the end of the test, the numbers on the board probably weren't what we would have liked, but the car didn't miss a beat all day and it was encouraging to see my team-mate set the fastest time."

Leading times - Queensland Raceway (9 February):

Shane van Gisbergen SP Tools Racing Ford 1m 10.7414sJames Courtney Jim Beam Racing Ford +0.0196sRussell Ingall Supercheap Auto Racing Holden +0.1418sJonathon Webb Dick Johnson Racing Ford +0.3109sDean Fiore Bing Lee/Panasonic Ford +0.4160sSteven Johnson Jim Beam Racing Ford +0.4241sAlex Davison IRWIN Racing Ford +0.4404sGreg Murphy Castrol EDGE Racing Holden +0.7105sTim Slade Wilson Security Racing Ford +0.8200sCraig Lowndes TeamVodafone Holden +0.895s



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