Seasoned V8 veteran Jason Bargwanna came out firing at the first official test day of the 2010 V8 Supercar Championship Series by topping the timesheets at Winton Raceway in Victoria.

The Rock Racing driver led a Kelly Racing one-two, with his new team boss Rick Kelly second fastest in his Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore. Mark Winterbottom flew the flag for the Blue Oval brigade with third fastest in his Orrcon Steel FPR Ford Falcon, ahead of Jason Bright (Trading Post Racing) and Paul Dumbrell (The Bottle-O Race Team).

Bargwanna, a two-time Winton event winner and the 2000 Bathurst champion, waited until the final stages of the day to set a time that was under the V8 Supercar lap record for the three-kilometre circuit on his first drive for his new team.

"We watched other guys go fast during the day, but we stuck to our programme and, at the end of the day, we put it all together on a better set of tyres we had saved and did a good time," Bargwanna reported, "I've said it already that I believe this is my best chance ever to have a crack for the championship and this is a good way to start the year. Everyone looks at the timesheet at the end of the day and feels quite happy about it but they don't pay trophies for testing. Clearly, what we've got to do is go away from here and work very hard to be competitive not only at the first race, but all year."

Temperatures soared at the rural Victorian circuit today, with Kelly saying that the tough conditions will help drivers prepare for the opening two events of the championship in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.

"It was very hot at Winton today," he confirmed, "Although it was difficult in the car, it's a fantastic start to the year because it's going to be hot in the Middle East. It was a good opportunity for us to get back in the car and experience the temperatures again because we haven't done that for two months and it's hard to simulate that in our normal training. I'll sleep well tonight. It's been a good first day.

Todd Kelly was also pleased with his efforts today, turning his first laps in a brand new Jack Daniel's Racing Holden Commodore. While not in the top group on the timing charts, the older of the Kelly brothers was very pleased with the progress of the brand new chassis today.

"It was a great day," he claimed, "It was just like being in my old car. The job the guys have done on this new Jack Daniel's Commodore is spot on and nothing went wrong. It was as if that car had been around forever so that's good. We ran through a fair few test items and learned a little bit and it just came down to having no good tyres. All four cars are running really well and for 'Bargs' to punch out the time that he did and be the quickest is fantastic."

Dale Wood turned laps in the #16 Kelly Racing Commodore, with further information regarding Kelly Racing's fourth entry to be announced at a later date.

"Todd asked me to drive the car today," Wood said, "The car was back to a bare shell over Christmas getting work done to it with the new side intrusion stuff and other improvements. You always want to be sure that the car is okay for the first race and it was good for me to knock the rust off my driving a bit. All in all, it was a really good day at the car didn't miss a beat."

Leading times - Winton Raceway (8 February):

Jason Bargwanna Rock Racing Holden 1m 22.7234sRick Kelly Kelly Racing Holden 1m 23.1154sMark Winterbottom FPR Ford 1m 23.2144sJason Bright Trading Post Racing Holden 1m 23.6123sPaul Dumbrell Bottle-O Racing Ford 1m 23.6501sSteven Richards FPR Ford 1m 23.6879sTony d'Alberto Centaur Racing Holden 1m 23.9823sMichael Caruso Fujitsu/GRM Holden 1m 24.3938sLee Holdsworth Fujitsu/GRM Holden 1m 24.5674sJason Richards Team BOC Holden 1m 24.8358sDaniel Gaunt Gulf Western Oil Racing Holden 1m 24.9606sTodd Kelly Kelly Racing Holden 1m 25.1786sKarl Reindler Fair Dinkum Shed Racing Holden 1m 25.3184sDale Wood Kelly Racing Holden 1m 25.9832s



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