David Reynolds put Erebus Motorsport at the top of the order for the first time this season in opening practice at the Castrol Edge Townsville 400.
Reynolds completed a 1:12.87s as the chequered flag flew to edge out Prodrive’s Chaz Mostert by 0.01s.
The duo were among a handful of drivers to switch to their second set of pre-marked tyres late in the 40 minutes.
Will Davison and Tim Slade also jumped into the top four in the closing minutes ahead of Nissan duo Rick and Todd Kelly.
Holden Racing Team team-mates James Courtney and Garth Tander had led the way for much of the going before being demoted to seventh and eighth respectively.
Reynolds said he had no choice but to make the early move to his second set due to the poor quality of his first.
“The track must be pretty green because it doesn’t feel like there’s a lot of grip out there,” he said.
“I think I had a dodgy set of tyres with the first set, my left-rear was shagged and we kind of had no option but to put another set on.
“Hopefully we can keep it up… we put some new bits in the car over the break that we’re still unsure of, but the times say it’s pretty good.”
Mostert also noted the lack of early track grip.
“We really struggled for grip at the start,” he said.
“I think we’re reasonably close but we’ve still got a bit of work to do with the car.”
The session was punctuated by a single red flag, called to retrieve debris at Turns 2 and 7.
Shane van Gisbergen twice ran wide at Turn 7 and destroyed trackside signage while touring the grass.
Team-mate Jamie Whincup fared worse, making significant contact with the outside wall at the exit of Turn 3 in the closing minutes.
Whincup had been running closely behind Jason Bright when he misjudged the shape of the wall out of the right-hander.
The six-time champion was able to drive back to the pits but took no further part in the session.
Craig Lowndes also made the highlights reel in the third Triple Eight entry with a harmless spin at Turn 2.
Rookie Kurt Kostecki ended the session at the bottom of the order, albeit less than a tenth adrift of next man Aaren Russell.
Result: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Castrol Edge Townsville 400 Practice 1
|1||Erebus Motorsport Penrite||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VF||1:12.8697*S|
|2||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:12.8818 S||0:00.012|
|3||Team Darrell Lea STIX||Will Davison||Holden Commodore VF||1:12.9065 S||0:00.036|
|4||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.2259 S||0:00.356|
|5||Sengled Motorsport||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:13.3111 S||0:00.441|
|6||carsales Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:13.3120 S||0:00.442|
|7||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.3736 S||0:00.503|
|8||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.3776 S||0:00.507|
|9||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||1:13.3803 S||0:00.510|
|10||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:13.3943 S||0:00.524|
|11||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.4144 S||0:00.544|
|12||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:13.4497 S||0:00.580|
|13||DJR Team Penske||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:13.5437 S||0:00.674|
|14||LD Motorsport||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.5543 S||0:00.684|
|15||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Moffat||Volvo S60||1:13.6128 S||0:00.743|
|16||GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Nissan Altima||1:13.6357 S||0:00.766|
|17||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.6434 S||0:00.773|
|18||LD Motorsport||Andre Heimgartner||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.6584 S||0:00.788|
|19||DJR Team Penske||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:13.6744 S||0:00.804|
|20||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||1:13.7512 S||0:00.881|
|21||Red Bull Racing Australia||Shane Van Gisberg||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.7627 S||0:00.893|
|22||TeamVortex||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.7670 S||0:00.897|
|23||Team Cooldrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||1:13.8927 S||0:01.023|
|24||Super Black Racing||Chris Pither||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:13.9541 S||0:01.084|
|25||Plus Fitness Racing||Aaren Russell||Holden Commodore VF||1:14.9768 S||0:02.107|
|26||Preston Hire Racing||Kurt Kostecki||Holden Commodore VF||1:15.0438 S||0:02.174|