Shell V-Power Racing Team’s Will Davison has led a chaotic opening practice session at Bathurst.
Davison posted a 2m 04.369s as another impressive performance from James Golding placed him second in the Subway PremiAir Racing Holden ZB Commodore just 0.016s in arrears.
The R&J Batteries BJR entry of Andre Heimgartner led the way for much of the session and ended it third, with David Reynolds’ Penrite Racing Ford Mustang and the NTI Mobil 1 Racing ZB Commodore of Nick Percat rounding out the top five.
In difficult conditions due to the track gradually drying throughout, there were a few spins and close shaves including for a few frontrunners.
Cameron Waters was beached at Murray’s Corner, causing the first red flag of the session as his Monster Racing Ford Mustang was retrieved from the gravel trap.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for Shell V-Power Racing Team in the session as Anton De Pasquale spun at Forrest’s Elbow as the rear of his Mustang made light contact with the tyre wall, but he recovered to be ninth in the session.
Others to experience minor incidents were Triple Eight Race Engineering pair Craig Lowndes in the Wildcard and Shane van Gisbergen, but at opposite spots of the circuit.
Lowndes went down the escape road at Hell Corner, while the championship leader nudged the wall at Reid Park as he pitted not long after and handed the Red Bull Ampol Racing Team ZB Commodore to co-driver Garth Tander.
The session ended prematurely when Jake Kostecki stuck his TRADIE Racing Mustang into the Hell Corner gravel trap with three minutes remaining.
Van Gisbergen’s time was enough to end the session sixth from rookie teammate Broc Feeney, De Pasquale, reigning race winner Chaz Mostert and his co-driver from last year Lee Holdsworth completed the top 10.
Lowndes was the lead Wildcard entry in 19th from the Caltex Young Stars in 26th with Matt Chahda at the wheel ahead of the Boost Mobile entry of Kiwi pair Greg Murphy and Richie Stanaway in 28th.
Preparations continue for the Repco Bathurst 1000 this afternoon with second practice at 3:55pm for a co-driver’s only session giving many the first opportunity of the weekend to gain mileage ahead of the main event Sunday.