Title contender David Reynolds set the pace in this morning’s crucial pre-qualifying practice session at Phillip Island.
The 15-minute shootout was the first bit of meaningful running in the dry following yesterday’s two rain-affected practice sessions, making it a crucial session ahead of today’s two qualifying sessions.
Points leader Mark Winterbottom was the first to strike, going fastest with a 1m31.086s on his first run.
But it was Reynolds who set the pace on the second run, a 1m30.866s leaving him top by just 0.037s over Triple Eight’s Jamie Whincup.
“We didn’t do much dry running yesterday, so most people had new tyres on then,” explained Reynolds.
“It was really good; it’s a small win for us, hopefully we can carry it through to qualifying.”
Volvo’s Scott McLaughlin was third fastest, his 1m30.926s coming as the flag fell. That knocked Winterbottom – who improved to a 1m30.990s on his second run – to fourth, ahead of Scott Pye and Fabian Coulthard.
Craig Lowndes, who is locked in a tense title battle with Reynolds and Winterbottom, was just 10th fastest – more than half a second down on the benchmark time.