The Kiwi battle continues at the Castrol Gold Coast 600, but this time it was Shane van Gisbergen on top.
His fellow country man Scott McLaughlin, who was fastest this morning, pulled up second in the final half-hour practice session, while Van Gisbergen topped times with a 1min10.4206, 0.1552sec ahead of the Volvo.
The green session saw McLaughlin’s teammate James Moffat quickest for a time, with Nissan’s Michael Caruso, and Erebus’s David Reynolds also crack P1 during their runs.
But the Red Bull driver couldn’t be stopped, as he looks to strengthen his championship lead over teammate Jamie Whincup this weekend.
Moffat dropped into P3, with Chaz Mostert rocketing into the top four after missing last year’s event here with injury, and Whincup right behind.
Reynolds ended up sixth, with Scott Pye, Michael Caruso, Bathurst winner Will Davison and Nick Percat completing the top 10.
Mostert was pleased with how far they had come with his Supercheap Auto Falcon.
“I’m very lucky, the car’s been fantastic – P4 in that session, we can do a bit more tuning to make it a bit better but good start to the weekend,” he said.
He stressed how important making the most of practice was at this event.
“For all the guys down here we’ve only got three half hour practice sessions … so we’re very limited here, important to get onto the car and set it up for a qualifying car because qualifying is everything.”
Pye’s co-driver Tony D’Alberto was the quickest co-driver in the second session and Pye believed they could get more from his DJR Team Penske Falcon, which runs Hog’s Breath colours this weekend.
“I think we’ve got three or four tenths in it,” he said, explaining that his third lap was fastest, when it is usually the first lap of the run.
Outside of the 10 were some big names – from positions 17 to 20, were Garth Tander, Craig Lowndes, James Courtney and Russell Ingall (co-driver for Rick Kelly).
Tander – who has the most wins of any driver here – said they were pushing the limits at the chicanes.
“Today’s about finding the limits and seeing how the car reacts when hitting the kerbs … the car’s not too bad, a couple of little of things to improve,” he said.