Day of disaster for BJR at Bathurst 1000

Cameron Waters was fastest in opening practice for the Bathurst 1000.
Cameron Waters was fastest in opening practice for the Bathurst 1000.

More carnage for Brad Jones Racing has prematurely ended a Bathurst 1000 co-driver practice session in which Supercars veteran Lee Holdsworth was fastest.

On a day of disaster for BJR and Macauley Jones, Chris Pither crashed their Commodore with less than two minutes remaining in P2 at Mount Panorama.

Jones himself had power-steering troubles in the first few minutes of Thursday's first session as smoke billowed from his vehicle.

A red flag was raised after Jones stopped on the track, with the session halted for eight minutes.

The car was patched up, but the damage done in the dying stages by Pither might prove tricky for Brad Jones Racing engineers to fix.

Holdsworth showed he and Walkinshaw Andretti United's Chaz Mostert will be a formidable pairing for Sunday's 161-lap great race.

Last year's Bathurst 1000 runner-up Cameron Waters enjoyed solid support from co-driver James Moffat.

Waters picked up where he left off at Bathurst last year, when he claimed pole but finished behind Triple Eight pair Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander in the Great Race.

Ford ace Waters completed an impressive first-up drive on Thursday to edge out Mostert.

Moffat then backed Waters up by finishing second in P2.

The Tickford Racing driver has had a mixed season, winning three races to be fifth in the championship standings.

Red Bull Ampol legend Jamie Whincup, who is again paired up with fellow great Craig Lowndes, placed 11th in practice in his final event as a full-time driver, before becoming Triple Eight boss.

Lowndes briefly had the quickest time in the co-driver session, but ended up sixth.

There will be two more practice sessions on Friday, before Saturday's top-10 shootout.

After last year's Bathurst 1000 was severely impacted by COVID-19, crowds are back at the regional NSW town in big numbers.

Australian Associated Press