Jamie Whincup was fastest in preliminary qualifying for V8 Supercars' showpiece Bathurst 1000.
Triple Eight's reigning champion set the pace with a 2m07.7145s in the Holden he will share with Paul Dumbrell on Sunday.
The identity of Whincup's nearest challenger was a surprise, as Brad Jones Racing's Fabian Coulthard got within 0.0786sec of toppling the points leader.
Ford Performance Racing duo Mark Winterbottom and Will Davison took third and fourth, Davison having been quickest for a long spell. The other drivers making it through to Saturday's pole shootout were Whincup's teammate Craig Lowndes, Stone Brothers pair Shane van Gisbergen and Tim Slade, Garth Tander, Steve Owen and David Reynolds.
Tander's presence in the top 10 was particularly impressive given that he had crashed at Turn 2 early in the 40-minute session, causing a red flag. The Holden Racing Team squad performed a rapid repair to get Tander's duct-tape bedecked car back on track.
Positions 11 to 29 in the field are now set, with Jonathon Webb and Jason Bright quickest of those to miss out on shootout places, with pole decided in the top-10 run-off on Saturday.
• The Bathurst 1000 airs on a delay basis on speed Oct. 14.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Jamie Whincup Triple 8 Holden 2m07.7145s
2. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Holden 2m07.7931s + 0.0786s
3. Mark Winterbottom FPR Ford 2m07.9231s + 0.2086s
4. Will Davison FPR Ford 2m07.9296s + 0.2151s
5. Craig Lowndes Triple 8 Holden 2m07.9663s + 0.2518s
6. Shane van Gisbergen Stone Brothers Ford 2m08.0799s + 0.3654s
7. Tim Slade Rosenberg/SBR Ford 2m08.0912s + 0.3767s
8. Garth Tander HRT Holden 2m08.1045s + 0.3900s
9. Steve Owen Paul Morris/DJR Ford 2m08.1386s + 0.4241s
10. David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford 2m08.2312s + 0.5167s
11. Jonathon Webb Tekno Holden 2m08.3040s + 0.5895s
12. Jason Bright Brad Jones Holden 2m08.3571s + 0.6426s
13. Rick Kelly Kelly Holden 2m08.3925s + 0.6780s
14. James Courtney HRT Holden 2m08.4692s + 0.7547s
15. Lee Holdsworth Stone Brothers Ford 2m08.5379s + 0.8234s
16. Michael Caruso Garry Rogers Holden 2m08.5409s + 0.8264s
17. James Moffat Dick Johnson Ford 2m08.5849s + 0.8704s
18. Steven Johnson Dick Johnson Ford 2m08.6011s + 0.8866s
19. Todd Kelly Kelly Holden 2m08.8235s + 1.1090s
20. Michael Patrizi Tekno Holden 2m08.8240s + 1.1095s
21. Dean Fiore Triple F/DJR Ford 2m08.8253s + 1.1108s
22. David Wall Britek/BJR Holden 2m08.9091s + 1.1946s
23. Greg Murphy Kelly Holden 2m08.9327s + 1.2182s
24. Tony D'Alberto D'Alberto Ford 2m08.9341s + 1.2196s
25. Russell Ingall Walkinshaw/HRT Holden 2m08.9822s + 1.2677s
26. Jack Perkins Garry Rogers Holden 2m09.1725s + 1.4580s
27. Taz Douglas Dumbrell Holden 2m09.2376s + 1.5231s
28. Karl Reindler Kelly Holden 2m09.3767s + 1.6622s
29. Cameron Waters Kelly Holden 2m10.4865s + 2.7720s