Prodrive Racing Australia driver David Reynolds comfortably topped a first V8 Supercars practice session in Darwin which saw unofficial lap records fall.
Reynolds best of a 1m07.289s – set a minute from the end of the hour-long session – was not only well underneath the existing lap record, but also more than six-tenths quicker than the qualifying lap record that Jason Bright set back in 2002.
With a brand new surface, it didn’t take long for the times to tumble in Darwin. It took just nine minutes for someone to go under last year’s pole time, Will Davison dipping into the 1m08s as soon as he hit the track.
The circuit continued to get quicker and quicker as the session evolved, with Reynolds waiting until literally the last minute to bolt on a set of soft Dunlops and rocket to the top of the times.
“It’s good to have good pace,” he said.
“We were tuning for hard tyre and I think we found a good soft tyre platform. So we put some softs on and went really fast at the end.”
DJR Team Penske driver Scott Pye was second fastest, setting a 1m07.818s right as the flag fell. The youngster had spent the first part of the session on the sidelines, while Marcos Ambrose had his first laps in a V8 Supercar since the Australian Grand Prix.
Jason Bright was another late improver, going third on his very last lap, while Michael Caruso was the best-placed Nissan in fourth, having been the first driver to dip into the 1m07s bracket.
Tim Slade was fifth, while title contenders Craig Lowndes and Mark Winterbottom was sixth and seventh respectively.
Davison ended up best of the Erebus cars in 12th, while it was another tough session for GRM Volvo, Scott McLaughlin just 18th fastest.
Surprisingly, Holden Racing Team star Garth Tander was 25th and last.