It was a Prodrive Racing Australia 1-2 in second practice at Symmons Plains, Mark Winterbottom leading the way ahead of team-mate Cam Waters.
With both the hard and soft compound Dunlop tyres available in practice, but only the soft to be used in competition, it was always going to be a soft rubber shootout at the back end of the hour-long session.
Craig Lowndes was the first to set a representative time, a 51.525s leaving him P1 with five minutes of the session yet to run.
Jamie Whincup then had a go, first going fastest with a 51.514s, then improving to a 51.498s on the next lap before calling it quits with three minutes left to run.
Unfortunately for Triple Eight, the time wasn’t good enough to stand. Prodrive pair Winterbottom and Waters were both able to improve inside the last minute, reigning champion Winterbottom ending up fastest with a 51.422s, 0.04s clear of Waters – who is making his first start at Symmons Plains since his Formula Ford days.
Whincup finished up third, 0.07s behind Winterbottom, while Shane van Gisbergen improved significantly right at the flag to finish up P4, and make it a Triple Eight 3-4-5 with Lowndes right behind.
Lee Holdsworth was one of the star performers of the session, hovering near the top of the times for much of the 60 minutes before putting in a genuinely quick soft tyre run to finish in P6.
James Courtney was P7, DJR Team Penske’s Scott Pye P8 after leaving his shift to the soft tyre very late, Will Davison ninth, with Jason Bright in P10 – just 0.23s off the benchmark time.