Mathew Sofi took his new AmPro Tools-sponsored Dallara to third place, one spot ahead of Team BRM/HT Leads driver Mathew Radisich.
Meanwhile, Chris Gilmour set the National Class pace and was also particularly close to the outright cars, logging a personal and class-best 1m19.941s lap to wind up three tenths clear of F3 rookie Tom Tweedie in fifth and sixth respectively.
“The car is awesome, I'm really relaxed and it all seems to be going very well,” Gilmour enthused. “Hopefully I can tack onto the back of the '07s in the races. I know I can get them off the line, so then I'll be on it as hard as I can!”
Tweedie was second in class, just half a second behind Gilmour. Local ace Jesse Wakeman, by contrast, endured a horrible day, with electrical problems curtailing his practice session after just one lap and a subsequent gearbox drama slowing his qualifying charge.
Earlier in practice, whilst Foster and Macrow had again set the pace, one potential championship contender had found the early Clipsal going decidedly not to his liking. TanderSport driver Ben Crighton, from New Zealand, gained the unenviable record of being the first competitor to make contact with the unforgiving Clipsal 500 walls, taking a front-right corner off his Dallara F307 at turn eleven in practice one.
“It was just a matter of too hot on cold tyres and cold brakes,” the seventh-placed man rued. “There wasn't much in it, and it wasn't a hard hit – but it was enough to take a corner off and do some damage. It's a shame, because all I really wanted was laps and experience. The goal for the rest of the weekend is laps. It's very disappointing.”
Top Ten Race One Qualifying Times:
Joey Foster Team BRM
Tim Macrow Scud Racing
Mat Sofi AmPro Tools/Astuti Motorsport
Mathew Radisich Team BRM
Chris Gilmour Gilmour Racing
Tom Tweedie Team Tom/RALT Australia
Ben Crighton TanderSport
Graeme Holmes GKH Powdercoating
Ray Chamberlain Astuti Motorsport
Jesse Wakeman R-Tek F3