Scott McLaughlin led a quartet of Fords at the top of the order at the end of Friday practice at the Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint.
The #17 Shell V-Power Falcon had spent much of the 40 minutes on a long run ahead of a weekend where tyre life is expected to be crucial.
McLaughlin then did two short runs at the end, going to fourth before jumping 0.6s clear at the top with a 1:28.85s on his second effort with a minute remaining.
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“We worked on that (tyre life) at the end of P1 and then at the start of P2 we did a long run,” he said.
“It was ok, but until we get into the race tomorrow we don’t know. For me the car felt good but degradation wise we’ve got to work on it.
“It’s a bit eye-opening to then go four seconds quicker (on new tyres), it’s hard to get your brain around that.
“The first set I sort of buffed up a bit but then the next set was good. We’ll see how we go tomorrow.”
Prodrive trio Mark Winterbottom, Chaz Mostert and Cameron Waters subsequently slotted into second, third and fourth respectively.
Nissan’s Michael Caruso backed up his strong Practice 1 showing in fifth ahead of Craig Lowndes and Tim Slade, who was fastest before a late flurry of faster times.
Fabian Coulthard, Jamie Whincup and Rick Kelly completed the top 10, while the second Red Bull HRT entry of Shane van Gisbergen ended up 13th.
Will Davison was one place better off in 12th, logging 16 valuable laps after missing the bulk of Practice 1 with power steering issues.