Cam Waters has taken first blood at Mount Panorama, setting the pace in the opening free practice.
The Monster Energy Mustang set a 2.05.023 as drivers slowly got up to speed with the circuit and co-drivers got their first real taste of Supercars action of the year.
“Good start for the weekend, obviously,” said Waters, who set the fastest time on his final lap.
“Car was pretty good, wasn’t 100 percent happy with it, but obviously good to start the weekend P1 and have a straight car.”
Champion elect Scott McLaughlin initially set the pace, leading the first 45 minutes of the hour-long session before handing the wheel over to co-driver Tim Slade.
But Slade’s brief stint was disrupted by a clumsy incident with Shane van Gisbergen. The Kiwi dove into a closing gap at Forrest’s Elbow, tipping the #17 into a spin with ten minutes remaining.
Red Bull opted to bring van Gisbergen into the garage for the rest of the session while Slade resumed with minor superficial damage.
“I wasn’t even looking,” apologised Slade.
“It was my bad and we were just lucky that there was no damage and we were able to press on and get some laps in.”
The session remained green and barring the small coming together, ran relatively cleanly.
Behind pace-setter Waters, Jamie Whincup ended up two tenths back while James Courtney ensured there were two Tickford entries in the top-three with the third-fastest time.
Often the dark horses of the mountain, Penrite Racing got their Great Race preparation off to a strong start with David Reynolds ended the session fourth. Teammate Anton de Pasquale was tenth overall.
Lee Holdsworth, Bryce Fullwood and Todd Hazelwood made up the next trio of spots while Tim Slade ultimately shuffled the #17 back to eighth fastest.
The sister DJR Team Penske Mustang was only 17th quickest despite running as high as second after the opening flurry of laps.
Despite ending his session early, van Gisbergen’s best effort was only good enough for 20th fastest. He also racked up one of the lowest numbers of laps with just 15.
Today has two more practice sessions, the first of which is solely for co-drivers and gets underway from 2.45.
|9||Jack Le Brocq||0:00.8792|
|10||Anton De Pasquale||0:00.9004|
|20||Shane van Gisbergen||0:01.7982|