Scott McLaughlin has bounced back from Bathurst disappointment to lead the first session at the Castrol Gold Coast 600, 0.088 seconds ahead of championship leader Shane van Gisbergen.
The Volvo driver delivered a 1min11.3244 lap at the Surfers Paradise street circuit, a place where the young gun often features at the front.
Some lost mirrors searching for the limits, but the half-hour session ran smoothly, with David Reynolds tucking in third behind the Red Bull Commodore, at the track he earned his first ever Supercars race victory and holds the lap record.
“Not a bad start, I like this track – it’s really fun, very exciting. The scariest bit is when you realise the walls don’t move,” Reynolds said.
Van Gisbergen admitted he was one of the cars to lose a mirror early on. He will be one to watch this weekend, also a previous winner at the event and consistently strong on street circuits.
“I think I knocked the mirror on the first lap, not on purpose but just finding the limits,” he said.
He suggested the new surface on parts of the track may create an extra passing opportunity this weekend.
“I think it’s probably not much time in the braking, it gives you more confidence ... we may be able to pass into 1 now we’re not so grip limited,” Van Gisbergen said.
He leads teammate Jamie Whincup – who finished fourth in the practice session – by 139 points in the Championship.
Cameron Waters – who had a stellar result with Jack Le Brocq at Bathurst, earning fourth – rounded out the top five as the quickest Prodrive car.
Bathurst winner Will Davison finished seventh, with last year’s Gold Coast winner James Courtney close behind.