Drivers have met tricky conditions in Tasmania, surprised by rain in the first practice session of the day at Symmons Plains.
Following on from the support races at the Australian Grand Prix, Prodrive Racing Australia has continued its form, with young gun Chaz Mostert quickest in the session, though teammate Mark Winterbottom sat in first position for the majority of the one-hour session.
This weekend, Pepsi Max Crew’s Mostert is being engineered by the team’s head engineer Nathaniel Osborne, as regular engineer Adam DeBorre attends to a personal matter overseas.
Mostert’s 1min02.2774 lap bettered Erebus’ Will Davison by just 0.021sec, with other top five drivers Shane van Gisbergen, Jason Bright and Jamie Whincup all recording quick laps at the end of the run.
The session was punctuated by two red flags, with Macauley Jones – additional driver for Dale Wood – stranded at the start of the session with a mechanical issue.
Scott McLaughlin caused the second, his Volvo beached at the hairpin, with 11 minutes to go.
McLaughlin came home sixth, with David Reynolds, Winterbottom, Fabian Coulthard and Rick Kelly completing the top 10.
Others to note include Craig Lowndes in 11, Scott Pye 18 and Championship leader James Courtney 24th.
James Moffat suffered issues with the starter motor, while Fabian Coulthard allowed his additional driver Luke Youlden a few laps in the car during the session.
The day’s second practice session kicks off at 1.25pm local time.