Jaxon Evans fired a clear warning shot to competitors after topping the times in the first practice sessions of the 2018 Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia championship.
Heading the combined session times to finish with a fastest time of 1:21.6986s, the New Zealander picked up where he left off after securing victory at the 2017 season ending race at the Gold Coast.
Evans closest competitors were local driver Michael Almond, who topped the first practice, along with former Supercars drivers Dale Wood and James Moffat.
Defending champion David Wall wasn’t far off the front as he finished the day in fifth place, ahead of Nick McBride, Dylan O’Keefe and GT3 Cup Challenge champion Jordan Love.
“I’m really happy with my initial pace,” said Evans. “It’s early days but it’s a confidence boost to come away from the first day of the event as the fastest driver.
“The extra power of the new cars is something that will play a big roll coming into the last couple of races for the weekend with tyre life, but the car feels quite similar to last year. I’m really enjoying it.”
Anthony Gilbertson headed up the TAG Heuer Pro-Am field as he recorded the ninth fastest overall time head of Pro rookie Cameron Hill, who rounded out the top ten.
“I’m very happy being the top TAG Heuer Pro-Am driver after practice,” commented Gilbertson. “I didn’t expect it, to tell the truth.
“I was going to take it super easy today and that’s what I feel like I’ve done.
“I don’t feel like I got the best out of the rear tyres but I had a good lap to top the Pro-Am class.
“I’m super rapt and can’t wait to get into qualifying tomorrow.”
Stephen Grove was the nearest Pro-Am challenger, two-tenths of a second off of the pace of the lead class time of Gilbertson. Roger Lago, Adrian Flack, Marc Cini and newcomer John Steffensen ended up as frontrunners for the class of thirteen competitors.
Qualifying will get underway tomorrow followed by the opening race of the season. Races two and three will be held across Saturday and Sunday.