Holden's Chaz Mostert has laid down a marker as the man to beat in this weekend's season-opening Supercars event at Bathurst.
The 2014 Bathurst 1000 champion topped the timesheets in both of Friday's practice sessions at Mount Panorama in a convincing first run of the year.
Mostert pipped former teammate Cameron Waters in a thrilling finale to the final 60-minute session of the day, clocking a fastest-lap of two minutes and 04.7817 seconds at the iconic Mount Panorama circuit.
That was enough to just edge out Ford star Waters, who was the first driver of the day to go under 2:05 when he registered a 2:04.7928 with less than five minutes to go in the session.
Holden's Scott Pye was third-fastest with a 2:05.3896.
"Solid day for us, a couple of P1's in practice!," Mostert posted on his Instagram feed.
"Really proud of the boys for what they have done in the off-season but yes, early days!"
In contrast to Mostert's fast start, it was a difficult day for seven-time champion Jamie Whincup.
The Red Bull Racing star could only post the 16th-fastest time of the day and admitted he has a lot of work ahead before Saturday's race - the first of two 250km sprint events this weekend.
"We simply didn't have enough pace in the end, which is quite strange," Whincup said.
"Looking at our setup program, the results delivered should have been 'X' but we ended up with 'Y', so there's a bit of digging to do to find out where the performance is."
Fellow championship contender and teammate Shane Van Gisbergen was the eighth-quickest driver of the day.
Dick Johnson Racing, starting life without three-time champion Scott McLaughlin, had an okay day under new driver duo Anton De Pasquale and Will Davison.
De Pasquale was ninth on the timesheets with veteran Davison just behind in 11th position.
"We clearly have a little bit of work to do, but I'm feeling a lot more familiar with everything than I was this morning," Davison said.
It was a tough introduction to life in full-time racing for Erebus rookie Will Brown, who smashed his Commodore into the wall at The Dipper midway through the opening session.
Despite causing significant damage to the front-end of his car, Erebus were hopeful the 22-year-old will make Saturday morning's qualifying session with his team set for a long night in the garage.
Qualifying for Saturday's race starts at 9.05am with a top 10 shootout for pole position at 12.10pm.
The 250km season-opener starts at 3pm with the threat of rain forecast.
Australian Associated Press