V8 Supercars' four notable newcomers enjoyed - or endured - differing fortunes in qualifying for the season-opening Clipsal 500 on the streets of Adelaide as they got to grips with the competition for the first time.

No demands were made of local boy Tim Slade, making his championship debut with the Supercheap Auto Racing team this weekend, and the 23-year old responded by performing well beyond any expectations and qualifying 19th, just three spots behind veteran team-mate Russell Ingall..

Where Ingall found himself blocked on his best chance at a top ten time, Slade kept his nose clean and put in a solid lap to make it onto the inside of row ten for both 250km races over the weekend.

"Today's been a great experience and I've really enjoyed myself," he admitted, "I tried not to be too over-awed with making my debut in the main series and, this morning, put everything else but racing out of my mind. The goal was to gain experience and keep it clean, so to have qualified 19th is beyond my own expectations - in fact, if you had offered me a top 20 starting position before the weekend began I would have gladly accepted it with both hands."

While Marcus Marshall is well-versed in V8 competition, his new Team IntaRacing just missed the top 20 on the eve of its first ever race, with Marshall qualifying 21st fastest, missing the cut for phase two of the session by the narrowest of margins.

"Practice went well considering how long the team has been established," he noted, "We had our fair share of minor dramas, but got these all ironed out during practice so, by the end of the third session, I felt more comfortable in the car.

"Qualifying was a big unknown for us, and I struggled with getting the car to turn at the start, but, by the time we got our heads around everything, it was a bit too late. All in all, though, I am very happy and pumped with the effort today, even if we are in 21st position. Our times were very close to the more established teams and I just can't wait to take to the grid for tomorrow's race."

Bundaberg Red Racing's David Reynolds will share row eleven with Marshall, having made his V8 Supercar debut in 22nd position after a series of solid laps around the former Australian GP circuit.

In the earlier practice sessions, Reynolds took the time to get a feel for the #24 Commodore, completing 42 laps in all, but a mechanical issue in the second part of practice limited his track time from extending further and hampered his chances of a better qualifying slot.

"It was unreal to get into the car," Reynolds admitted, "It was a pretty unbelievable experience, as we have been sitting around talking about it for months and wondering if it was going to happen. To finally come here for the first round and do a couple of laps was great.

"I would have liked to have been in the top 20, but the blokes around me have a lot more experience on new tyres than I do, and that is one thing that I just have to try and chip away at. We missed quite a few laps in practice because of small mechanical issues, but we pressed on. At the end of the day, I would have liked to have been about half a second quicker."

Earlier in the day, fellow rookie Dale Wood walked away from a spectacular crash at Adelaide's notorious turn eight but, having had his Holden Commodore hit both the outside and inside concrete walls, was forced to miss qualifying. The new #16 Hi-Tec Oils Commodore will be repaired this evening - the crew has to replace the left side lower control arm, suspension upright, rear differential housing, Watts linkage, front bar, rear bar, boot lid, rear wing, rear quarter panel and rear door as part of the repairs - and Wood expects to be back in action tomorrow.

"I was just stepping things up a bit when it happened," the rookie revealed, "We missed the first leg of practice due to a small mechanical issue, and I tried to cruise into it and step things up gradually - but I probably stepped things up at turn eight a bit too quickly.

"I was already going pretty well through there, and probably didn't need to find too much more speed, but I just got in a bit too hot and got on a different line and lost the rear. We took a hit, but I'm fine. I feel for the boys, but we'll work on it at get the Hi-Tec Oils Commodore back out there for tomorrow."