Fabian Coulthard raised hopes of a maiden DJR Team Penske victory on home soil at Queensland Raceway by setting the pace in Friday practice.
Following on from impressive speed at the venue in pre-season testing, Coulthard jumped to the top of the order with just over two minutes of the hour long session remaining.
A 1:09.71s was good enough to edge TeamVortex’s Craig Lowndes by 0.05s.
The Holden ace proved unable to respond as he struck traffic on his final run.
“It’s so hard around here, you never know where you’re at until you put a decent tyre on at the end of the day,” said Coulthard, who had been 12th in the opening session.
“Everyone is separated by tenths of seconds but it’s not a bad way to end the day.”
It had taken just 10 minutes for Michael Caruso to eclipse the 1:10.33s that he’d recorded to top the opening session.
Lowndes immediately went faster still and sat atop the order until Scott McLaughlin took over the front-running at halfway.
The Caltex Holden then became the first to drop into the 1:09s 10 minutes from the end, shaving 0.1s from the Volvo to leave the benchmark at 1:09.95s.
That time stood until Coulthard’s late effort which brought the pace to within 0.7s of Will Davison’s 2013 practice lap record.
Chaz Mostert ended the day third fastest time of the day ahead of Rick Kelly, Chris Pither and Mark Winterbottom.
McLaughlin eventually drifted to seventh ahead of Shane van Gisbergen, Scott Pye and Dale Wood.
Jamie Whincup was just 19th after making a mistake at Turn 4 on his final tyre run.
David Reynolds was one place higher in 18th after missing the early part of the session while his Erebus team fixed a rollbar issue with the Penrite Holden.
A final 15 minute practice session will be held tomorrow before qualifying.
Result: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Coates Hire Ipswich Super Sprint Practice 2
|1||DJR Team Penske||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:09.7061*S|
|2||TeamVortex||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||1:09.7583 S||00.0522|
|3||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:09.8354 S||00.1293|
|4||Sengled Motorsport||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:09.8665 S||00.1604|
|5||Super Black Racing||Chris Pither||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:10.0075 S||00.3014|
|6||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:10.0556 S||00.3495|
|7||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||1:10.0778 S||00.3717|
|8||Red Bull Racing Australia||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.0942 S||00.3881|
|9||DJR Team Penske||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:10.1191 S||00.4130|
|10||GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Nissan Altima||1:10.1365 S||00.4304|
|11||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Moffat||Volvo S60||1:10.1539 S||00.4478|
|12||carsales Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:10.1585 S||00.4524|
|13||LD Motorsport||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.2245 S||00.5184|
|14||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.2271 S||00.5210|
|15||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.2456 S||00.5395|
|16||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||1:10.2669 S||00.5608|
|17||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.3517 S||00.6456|
|18||Erebus Motorsport Penrite||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.3533 S||00.6472|
|19||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.3645 S||00.6584|
|20||LD Motorsport||Andre Heimgartner||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.3890 S||00.6829|
|21||Team Cooldrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.4221 S||00.7160|
|22||Team Darrell Lea STIX||Will Davison||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.4261 S||00.7200|
|23||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:10.4748 S||00.7687|
|24||Erebus Motorsport Hungry Jacks||Craig Baird||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.8874 S||01.1813|
|25||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||1:10.9320 S||01.2259|
|26||Preston Hire Racing||Kurt Kostecki||Holden Commodore VF||1:11.3977 S||01.6916|