The lap record looks set to fall at Hidden Valley this weekend, with practice fast man Scott Pye within three one-thousandths of the quickest time recorded in a Supercar.
The Darwin circuit was resurfaced last year, and then-Prodrive racer David Reynolds set the 1min06.2526 on hard Dunlop tyres on Sunday.
Today, DJR Team Penske’s Pye recorded a 1min2552sec lap in practice, just 0.0026sec from the record, and 0.0566sec ahead of second placed Chaz Mostert.
Pye recorded his career best result at Darwin last year, before topping that at New Zealand at the end of 2015, while Mostert won a race at the event last year.
Pye revealed he was not on green tyres for the fast lap and believed he would get more out of his brand new chassis in qualifying later this morning.
“On used tyres it’s pretty good, so we’ll see what happens when we put greens on in qualifying,” Pye said.
“We dint run greens but we tried to simulate the length of runs… I felt really comfortable car was driveable, we’re happy at the moment.”
Mostert said his Supercheap Auto team was looking for more stability in the car and was unsure where he would stack up against the others in qualifying.
His teammate and defending champion Mark Winterbottom was close behind in third, with Pye’s teammate Fabian Coulthard and Winton double winner Tim Slade completing the top five.
Click here for full results.
Todd Kelly had a big run-off at turn five, five minutes into the session while Tim Blanchard started with his left rear door open, which his team had to address.
Twenty-five of the 26 cars were within one second at the end of the session.
DJR Team Penske co-owner Dick Johnson yesterday said he believes a win is close for the newly-expanded team – this morning's results are a good sign for the team.
The Supercars have a 15-minute qualifying session at 11.40am local time this morning.