Steve Richards put Ford Performance Racing ahead of arch rivals Red Bull in the co-driver’s only second practice session at Bathurst.
Warren Luff sat atop the order for much of the session, before team-mate Paul Dumbrell became the first man to lap in the 2:10s inside the final 10 minutes.
The top times remained stagnant until Richards’ last effort with just seconds remaining; his 2:10.55s effort proving quickest by 0.42s.
“We are battling a little with balance,” Richards told Speedcafe.com afterward, despite topping the session.
“But you only have to drop 10 degrees in ambient and track temperature and all of a sudden the balance will change.”
Steven Johnson was the fastest of the Mercedes runners in fourth, but it was team-mate Andrew Thompson who stole much of the attention with an early off at The Chase.
With debris having cut a brake line, the #47 Mercedes surfed through the gravel before making front-on contact with the tyre wall at an estimated 80km/h.
A lengthy red flag period was required to extract the HHA-backed entry from the gravel.
The second Mercedes, driven by Craig Baird, set the sixth fastest time, with the two Erebus entries sandwiching Taz Dougals’ lead Nissan.
Mattias Ekstrom was seventh in his very first look at Mount Panorama, while David Russell, Paul Morris and Steve Owen completed the top 10.
A third and final practice session for all drivers will complete today’s running.
See below for the full Practice 2 result
|1||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||Steven Richards||Ford Falcon FG||02:10.55|
|2||Red Bull Racing Australia||Paul Dumbrell||Holden Commodore VF||02:10.97||00:00.42|
|3||Red Bull Racing Australia||Warren Luff||Holden Commodore VF||02:11.02||00:00.47|
|4||SP Tools Racing||Steven Johnson||Mercedes E63 AMG||02:11.29||00:00.74|
|5||Norton Hornets||Taz Douglas||Nissan Altima||02:11.41||00:00.86|
|6||Irwin Racing||Craig Baird||Mercedes E63 AMG||02:11.49||00:00.94|
|7||XBOX ONE Racing||Mattias Ekstrom||Holden Commodore VF||02:11.55||00:01.00|
|8||Jack Daniel’s Racing||David Russell||Nissan Altima||02:11.79||00:01.24|
|9||Sargent Security Racing||Paul Morris||Holden Commodore VF||02:11.81||00:01.26|
|10||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||Steve Owen||Ford Falcon FG||02:11.83||00:01.28|
|11||Dodo Insurance Racing||Matthew Halliday||Holden Commodore VF||02:11.87||00:01.32|
|12||Team BOC||Andrew Jones||Holden Commodore VF||02:12.01||00:01.46|
|13||Wilson Security Racing||Chris Pither||Holden Commodore VF||02:12.06||00:01.50|
|14||The Bottle-O FPR Ford||Dean Canto||Ford Falcon FG||02:12.07||00:01.51|
|15||Jeld-wen FPR Ford||John McIntyre||Ford Falcon FG||02:12.16||00:01.61|
|16||Wilson Security Racing||Dale Wood||Ford Falcon FG||02:12.19||00:01.64|
|17||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Greg Ritter||Holden Commodore VF||02:12.25||00:01.70|
|18||Holden Racing Team||Greg Murphy||Holden Commodore VF||02:12.48||00:01.92|
|19||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Jack Perkins||Holden Commodore VF||02:12.53||00:01.97|
|20||TEKNO team VIP Petfoods||Jeroen Bleekemolen||Holden Commodore VF||02:12.55||00:01.99|
|21||Lockwood Racing||Luke Youlden||Holden Commodore VF||02:12.59||00:02.04|
|22||Holden Racing Team||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||02:12.67||00:02.12|
|23||Norton Hornets||Daniel Gaunt||Nissan Altima||02:12.95||00:02.40|
|24||Heavy Haulage Australia Racing||Andrew Thompson||Mercedes E63 AMG||02:13.09||00:02.54|
|25||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Karl Reindler||Nissan Altima||02:13.40||00:02.84|
|26||TEKNO team Darrell Lea||Marc Lieb||Holden Commodore VF||02:13.50||00:02.94|
|27||Supercheap Auto Racing||Ryan Briscoe||Holden Commodore VF||02:13.63||00:03.08|
|28||Wilson Security Racing||Ashley Walsh||Ford Falcon FG||02:13.80||00:03.24|
|29||Team HIFLEX||Jonny Reid||Holden Commodore VF||02:13.82||00:03.26|