In the opening hour-long practice session of the Bathurst 1000, the leading drivers wasted no time in setting the pace, with a flurry of impressive improvements emerging within the first 10 minutes.
Initially, it was Will Brown who established the benchmark with a lap time of 2m07.665s. However, Anton De Pasquale quickly eclipsed this with a slightly faster time of 2m07.373s.
Brown briefly returned to the top spot with a 2m07-dead lap, only to see Brodie Kostecki surge ahead, putting a full second between himself and the rest of the field with a rapid 2m06.072s lap.
As the session settled into a rhythm, the gap gradually closed. Drivers like De Pasquale and Scott Pye dipped into the 2m06s range. Brown once again challenged his competitors, coming within three-tenths of his teammate with a lap time of 2m07.344s.
However, Brown wasn’t finished. At the midway point of the session, he became the first driver to break into the 2m05s, setting an impressive time of 2m05.965s.
This remarkable lap proved too formidable for anyone to surpass in the remaining half of the session. Nevertheless, Matt Payne of Grove Racing came tantalizingly close, falling just 0.007s short of Brown’s best lap time.
Kostecki’s early pace secured him the third position, with his co-driver David Russell taking over for the latter part of the session. Chaz Mostert, on his final lap, jumped to fourth, ahead of David Reynolds, Scott Pye, and Sandown 500 victor Broc Feeney.
De Pasquale found himself shuffled back to eighth place as the session progressed, followed by Andre Heimgartner and Craig Lowndes.
Notably, Shane van Gisbergen posted the 15th fastest time, enduring a challenging session that included a brief excursion down the escape road at Hell Corner.
The Supercars action continues with a second one-hour practice session, exclusively for co-drivers, scheduled for 4:50pm local time.