Murphy was also one of the many to miscue at one juncture, lamenting damage to the oil tank in the boot of his car while it was being retrieved from the gravel trap.
“Some big machinery almost pulled the back of my car off!” he proclaimed. “We got a 'green' (new) tyre run right at the end to go fastest and the car was working well – it's about bloody time!”
Holdsworth was also looking to rebound from a disappointing run at Winton, admitting, “I've got to get some points back and I'm aiming at winning races but also staying out of trouble. I'd been fastest in the first two sectors and was on the way back to the pits to look at the telemetry data when I discovered my third sector times were driving technique rather than a car issue. On the 'in-lap' I figured out what I was doing wrong and then nailed a good time on my best (not new) rubber. Saturday and Sunday's races will see some great passing with the softer option tyre and I'm sure it will get messy at some stage – as long as I'm not involved.”
It was a similar tale for Winterbottom who ran the same set of control Dunlop tyres through the entire session, preferring instead to keep his four new sets intact for Saturday's all important qualifying session.
“This was the best my car has been all year and we expect to move forward when we go onto fresh rubber. It was amazing how many cars were weaving around out there during 'happy hour' in the closing minutes so it will be interesting to see who gets it right tomorrow. We tested since the last round and tried some development bits so I have really noticed the difference here.”
Rounding out the top ten fastest drivers were James Courtney, Whincup, Steven Johnson, Craig Lowndes, Richards, teenager Shane Van Gisbergen and Todd Kelly. Surprisingly neither Davison nor team mate and former champion Garth Tander could infiltrate the top ten although they too kept their better rubber in reserve.