Jamie Whincup has led a record shattering opening day of practice for the 2016 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Whincup waited until the dying minutes of the final one-hour session to rip off a 2min05.2946sec time in the Red Bull Holden Commodore VF, the fastest time ever recorded on Thursday at Bathurst.
But he was only 0.0734 sec ahead of Fabian Coulthard in the DJR Team Penske Shell Helix Ford Falcon FG X, who also had a run on fresh Dunlop hard tyres at the end of the session.
Whincup’s result means #88 led all three sessions, with Paul Dumbrell leading the co-driver session.
“The track is evolving, we’ve got to keep chasing it,” Whincup said.
“We’re just trying to keep it chilled, we started on old tyres, put some newies on to get a gauge so the guys can look overnight and see what we can gain.”
Chaz Mostert completed the top three in his Supercheap Auto Racing Ford Falcon FG X, but was 0.412sec behind Whincup.
Wilson Security GRM’s Scott McLaughlin was fourth in the Volvo S60, ahead of Bard Jones Racing’s Jason Bright in the Team BOC Holden. Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander showed strong qualifying form to be sixth.
“She’s like riding a bucking bronco, it’s crazy,” said McLaughlin. “We’ll fix it up tonight.”
Completing the top 10 were Tim Slade, Will Davison, Shane van Gisbergen and James Courtney.
Defending Virgin Australia Supercar Champion Mark Winterbottom was 11th and defending Bathurst winner Craig Lowndes 14th.