Shane Van Gisbergen has topped the first Virgin Australia Supercars Practice session in 106 days with a sublime last gasp effort to pip championship leader Scott McLaughlin at the head of the timing sheets.
A frantic two-minute showdown to close the session saw a myriad of drivers set competitive lap times with Van Gisbergen the only driver to crack the 1.29 barrier.
Erebus Motorsport’s Anton De Pasqaule would end the session third fastest, a mere two-tenths separating the leading trio at the chequered flag.
The 24-strong field was greeted by breezy conditions around Sydney Motorsport Park with ambient temperatures in the low teens.
2010 series champion James Courtney was immediately on the pace of the front runners.
The 39-year-old cemented himself in second in the early stages of the session, narrowly ahead of Tickford stablemate Cam Waters.
It wasn’t entirely clean for Courtney however, a significant lockup at Turn 2 in the back stages of the session ruined the rest of his morning.
Jamie Whincup was a surprising omission from the top of the time sheets.
The #88 was sat in 21st for most of the 30-minute session and would eventually end up 23rd at the chequered flag.
The rest of the top ten was made up of Chaz Mostert, Waters, Mark Winterbottom, Fabian Coulthard, Todd Hazelwood, Andre Heimgartner and Lee Holdsworth.
Drivers will now have a short turn around before their second practice session which is scheduled to begin from 4 pm NZT.
|1||Shane van Gisbergen||1:28.9179|
|3||Anton De Pasquale||0.1835|
|12||Jack Le Brocq||0.8069|