Jamie Whincup has prevented a Ford lock-out in the first practice session for the Sandown 500.
The reigning V8 Supercars champion surged to the top of the timing charts with a 1:09.52 lap in his Red Bull Racing Commodore in the dying seconds of Friday morning’s session.
Behind him are four Fords, beginning with in-form Chaz Mostert, 2015 leader Mark Winterbottom, David Reynolds and Scott Pye.
Whincup struggled for traction through the session and had two visits off the track at turn one.
But he was able to put together the quickest trip around the 3.1 kilometre circuit for a good confidence boost at the first endurance race meet of the year.
Co-drivers will take to the track on Friday afternoon, with two practice sessions ahead of Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s 500 kilometre race.