Fabian Coulthard shot to the top of the timesheets with a blistering lap after the chequered flag in Supercars’ only practice session at Albert Park.
The DJR Team Penske pilot usurped Nissan Motorsport’s Michael Caruso by nearly 0.9s, setting a 1:55.49s time, while Shane van Gisbergen finished third in the half-hour session.
Van Gisbergen’s Triple Eight team-mates Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes were 23rd and 26th respectively after each experienced offs.
Mobil 1 HSV Racing duo James Courtney and Scotty Pye set the early pace, before Cameron Waters split the pair in his first run proper.
Chaz Mostert, Rick Kelly, and GRM returnee Garth Tander all took turns at the top during a mid-session flurry, before Caruso became the first man to lap in the 1:56s bracket.
Van Gisbergen fell narrowly short of top spot with just a couple of minutes remaining, then, with the order seemingly settled, Coulthard hauled his Shell V-Power Falcon across the line well after the chequered flag had flown.
That bumped Tim Slade to fourth and David Reynolds to fifth, with the top 10 rounded out by Mark Winterbottom, Nick Percat, Mostert, Tander, and Will Davison.
Rick Kelly made no further improvement and was ultimately 11th, likewise Courtney in finishing 15th.
Whincup’s session began with a trip through the Turn 1 gravel trap on his first flyer, and the six-time champion never figured at the pointy end as he ended up 23rd.
There were also minor offs for Scott McLaughlin, who finished 25th, and Dale Wood during a relatively trouble-free session.
Supercars will be next on track for a succession of four 10-minute qualifying sessions, one for each race, from 17:00 AEDT this afternoon.
Results: Practice, Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, 2017 Australian Grand Prix
|1||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Fabian Coulthard||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:55.49|
|2||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||1:56.38||0:00.89|
|3||Red Bull Holden Racing Aust||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||1:56.41||0:00.92|
|4||Freightliner Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||1:56.42||0:00.93|
|5||Erebus Penrite Racing||David Reynolds||Holden Commodore VF||1:56.43||0:00.94|
|6||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:56.53||0:01.04|
|7||Team Clipsal||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||1:56.64||0:01.15|
|8||Supercheap Auto Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:56.89||0:01.40|
|9||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||1:57.06||0:01.57|
|10||TEKNO Woodstock Racing||Will Davison||Holden Commodore VF||1:57.12||0:01.63|
|11||Sengled Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:57.13||0:01.64|
|12||Wilson Security Racing GRM||James Moffat||Holden Commodore VF||1:57.21||0:01.72|
|13||Team CoolDrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||1:57.23||0:01.74|
|14||Preston Hire Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF||1:57.26||0:01.76|
|15||Mobil 1 HSV Racing||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||1:57.36||0:01.87|
|16||Erebus GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore VF||1:57.37||0:01.87|
|17||Mobil 1 HSV Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore VF||1:57.45||0:01.96|
|18||MEGA Racing||Jason Bright||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:57.45||0:01.96|
|19||Monster Energy Racing||Cameron Waters||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:57.58||0:02.09|
|20||Team Harvey Norman||Simona De Silvestro||Nissan Altima||1:58.33||0:02.84|
|21||LD Motorsport||Alex Rullo||Holden Commodore VF||1:58.70||0:03.21|
|22||LD Motorsport||Taz Douglas||Holden Commodore VF||1:58.73||0:03.24|
|23||Red Bull Holden Racing Aust||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||1:58.85||0:03.36|
|24||carsales Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||1:58.96||0:03.47|
|25||Shell V-Power Racing Team||Scott McLaughlin||Ford Falcon FG/X||1:59.43||0:03.94|
|26||TeamVortex||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||1:59.56||0:04.07|