Chaz Mostert has rebounded from a horror Hidden Valley to top Friday practice at the Watpac Townsville 400.
The day’s second 40 minute session concluded with an exciting final six minutes following a red flag stoppage to retrieve Dale Wood’s stranded Holden.
Mark Winterbottom had sat atop the order from the halfway mark with a 1:12.54s best before being bumped to fourth in the dying minutes.
Scott McLaughlin clocked a 1:12.43s lap despite losing time by dropping a left-rear wheel off the road through Turn 9.
Mostert immediately went 0.16s quicker, while Shane van Gisbergen was the other big improver, ending up third on 1:12.48s.
"The car’s obviously night and day better than what it was Darwin," said Mostert.
"It’s a credit to the guys, going through the data after Darwin and trying to assess the mistakes we’ve made.
"It’s a driver thing (as well), we steer the ship with which direction we want to go down.
"The car felt pretty good and we think there’s a bit more in it if we can just tidy up a few things. But it’s a big relief after Darwin.
"Unfortunately the weaknesses are still there from those early rounds but it’s still comfortable to be able to push the car which we did not have at Darwin."
Van Gisbergen earlier had an unusual spin through Turn 8 – rotating his Red Bull Holden after clouting the kerb at the previous left-hander.
Winterbottom all but matched his earlier best and remained fourth ahead of Jamie Whincup and Practice 1 pace-setter David Reynolds.
Lee Holdsworth, Rick Kelly, Will Davison and James Courtney completed the top 10.
A top 10 marked a strong day for Courtney after Mobil 1 HSV Racing's recent struggles.
"It was almost like a little qualy session there which was good," he said.
"The car wasn’t too bad, we were always hoping it was going to be good. Previously it has been good at street circuits, historically, so it’s good to have a car that’s fighting.
"We’re in the 10 and that’s like a win at the moment. We’re still far from ideal and perfect and that lap wasn’t clean from me. We’ve got a bit in the car and myself."
Craig Lowndes ended up 21st after a high-speed spin through Turn 6 in a repeat of his effort from earlier in the afternoon.
"We were lucky to get away with another spin which seems to be my trait at the moment," said Lowndes.
"We were trying hard, there’s no doubt about that, (but) I wasn’t the only one to have a spin today."
Also down the order was championship leader Fabian Coulthard who could manage only 18th.
The Virgin Australia Supercars Championship returns to the Reid Park street circuit for qualifying at 12:30pm tomorrow ahead of the afternoon's 200km race.
Click here for the full Practice 2 result.