Dylan O’Keeffe says he feels privileged to be in a front-running car after turning his first laps in the NED Whisky Mustang at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 today.
O’Keeffe’s co-driver Andre Heimgartner completed the bulk of the opening practice session before O’Keeffe slotted into the driver’s seat towards the end of the session.
O’Keeffe had the car to himself in the second, dedicated co-driver session, gradually improving his times as he dialled himself into the car. After jumping into the top 10 mid-way through the session, his best time – a 2:07.5 – placed him 17th when the chequered flag flew.
After briefly taking the wheel at the beginning of the third session, O’Keeffe handed the car back to Heimgartner, who pushed the car up to fourth on the timesheets with a qualifying simulation run just before the end of proceedings.
“I’m very happy to be in such a good car for my Bathurst 1000 debut,” O’Keeffe said.
“I hadn’t driven a Supercar since the end of last year, so today was about getting comfortable again and building into it.
“I’m feeling comfortable and building into it – there is more time to be found tomorrow once I’ve reflected on it overnight.
“It’s early days yet, but Andre did a great job at the end of the final session and demonstrated the car has some good speed over one lap; for me, the priority is to focus on race pace and ensure I can punch out consistent times over a stint.”
O’Keeffe will participate in another co-driver session at 9:45 tomorrow morning, ahead of the fifth practice session of the weekend (for both drivers) at 12:10pm and qualifying at 4:05pm.