Pirtek Racing's Marcos Ambrose capped off a great day one on the road to his first V8 Supercar Championship Series title, by topping both practice sessions at the VIP Petfoods Main Event at Eastern Creek today.
The great Ford hope clocked a fastest lap today of 1:32.7999 to lead the time sheets ahead of Holden drivers Mark Skaife (Holden Racing Team) and Jason Bright (Team Brock).
Ambrose set the four fastest laps of the day in his Pirtek Racing Falcon and was the only driver to break into the one minute and 32-second bracket, issuing an ominous warning to main series rivals Greg Murphy (K-Mart Racing) and Skaife.
Skaife, who lies third in the series behind Ambrose and Murphy, clocked 1:33.0213 ahead of Bright's 1:33.2509.
In hot pursuit of Ambrose for series glory, Murphy could not match his Ford rival for car speed today finishing as seventh fastest with a best lap of 1:33.5026.
Currently Ambrose leads the series with 1893 points, 24 points clear of Murphy with Skaife another 46 points back.
"This is obviously the start we were after," said Ambrose. "A 24-point lead is not as good as the 100-point lead we had earlier in the season, but it's a start.
"We obviously have some good early car speed and hopefully we can take that into the shootout tomorrow.
"It is going to be important for us to stay out of trouble and the best way to do that is start at the front."
Cameron McConville also put in a great first day performance to finish as fourth fastest clocking 1:33.2961 with Ambrose's team mate Russell Ingall (Caltex Havoline Racing) fifth at the end of the day with 1:33.3913.
All 33 cars will return to the track for a one lap shootout at 11.10am tomorrow with race one of the V8 Supercars starting at 3pm, and race two on Sunday at 2.30pm.
In the support categories, Ross Donnelly took out race one in the Biante Model Cars Historic Touring Cars in his Mustang Coupe, while James Ward was victorious in the first race of the Aussie Racing Cars in a Ford Falcon.
Adam Brassington was the fastest qualifier in the MGF Trophy category with Marcus Marshall and Peter Hill leading the practice time sheets in the Carrera Cup and Formula 4000 respectively.
Tomorrow's program starts with the draw for the V8 Supercar Shootout at 8am.Tickets for the VIP Petfoods Main Event are available at the gate.
V8 SUPERCARS - COMBINED PRACTICE TIMES
1: Marcos Ambrose (Ford) 1:32.7999
2: Mark Skaife (Holden) 1:33.0213
3: Jason Bright (Holden) 1:33.2509
4: Cameron McConville (Holden) 1:33.2961
5: Russell Ingall (Holden) 1:33.3913
6: Max Wilson (Ford) 1:33.4465
7: Greg Murphy (Holden) 1:33.5026
8: Rick Kelly (Holden) 1:33.5267
9: Simon Wills (Holden) 1:33.6270
10: Paul Radisich (Ford) 1:33.6692
8am-8.30am -- Shootout draw
11.10am-12.55pm -- Entire field shootout
3pm-4pm -- Race 1 (39 Laps)
10.50am-11.10am -- Warm Up
1.30pm-.1.40pm -- Driver Parade
1.40pm-2.20pm -- Pre-race build-up
2.30pm-4.15pm -- Race 2 (64 Laps)
TV TELECAST -- NETWORK TEN
Saturday -- November 29
Sunday -- November 30
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS (AFTER 12 OF 13 ROUNDS)
* Adjusted after driver drops his worst round
1: Marcos Ambrose 1893
2: Greg Murphy 1869
3: Mark Skaife 1823
4: Russell Ingall 1709
5: Craig Lowndes 1588
6: Jason Bright 1584
7: Rick Kelly 1582
8: Steve Richards 1571
9: Todd Kelly 1538
10: Paul Radisich 1477