Shane van Gisbergen talked down leading the field by 0.4sec in today's final practice. The 25-year old Kiwi is, in fact, more excited about having returning two-time champ Marcos Ambrose on the grid at this weekend's Sydney NRMA 500.
"It's so cool to have him in the series - he's a hero for everyone basically, so it's pretty exciting to have him out there," van Gisbergen told v8supercars.com.au.
In yesterday's practice session, van Gisbergen saw the XBOX Falcon in his mirrors.
"What do I do?" he asked the team excitedly. "Show him what you're made of!" was the candid response.
Van Gisbergen laughed at the reference and put the exchange down to the excitement of his hero competing - and while Ambrose finished that final practice session at the rear of the field, he managed to improve on his times from yesterday.
"To be on track with him, I got a bit excited, so I said that on the radio... we were just joking,"van Gisbergen laughed.
"[I] Grow up watching him on TV, now I'm racing him, so it's a pretty cool moment. I'm sure he'll be up racing us soon enough."
Van Gisbergen was the quickest man on track this morning, bettering Wilson Security Racing's Scott Pye by 0.4sec with his 1min27.6311.
However, a red flag caused by a turn four smash of Lee Holdsworth's Erebus Merc meant some were unable to have a fast run around the Sydney street circuit.
"Everyone got screwed by the red flag - there were a few guys on fast laps, a few weren't, no one got their tyres warmed properly, but ours were pretty good.
"A second to go across the line for that last lap, so we have a nice gap but I'm sure everyone will catch up."
Van Gisbergen was confident his TEKNO Commodore would post a challenge in qualifying.
"The car's pretty good so we just need to do a few little tweaks, so really happy. We just need to do a few little tweaks - I don't really know if everyone showed their true hand there."
The quick Kiwi won here last year in the season's final race and this year, while focus has mainly been on Mark Winterbottom and Craig Lowndes in the battle for second in the Championship, van Gisbergen could sneak up on the pair.
"They've got to have problems though - we just have to worry about ourselves and do the best we can. If we get third or second, it happens, but I'm just trying to win all three races this weekend and whatever happens in the points is good, because we can't really go backward."
Back to back qualifying sessions will kick off at 11.15am local time to determine the grid for this afternoon's two 125km races at the Sydney NRMA 500.