Erebus Racing's David Reynolds has posted the fastest time in the opening practice session of the ITM Auckland SuperSprint this morning.
The Holden driver posted a time of 1:02.74 - .8s faster than his nearest rival.
Championship leading Kiwi Shane van Gisbergen was second fastest with title rival and Red Bull Racing teammate Jamie Whincup third. New Zealander Fabian Coulthard was fourth fastest in his DJR Team Penske Ford.
Tricky conditions greeted drivers at Pukekohe Park Raceway with a light shower dampening the track just as the cars exited pit lane for the first time.
"Yea it was very, very fast," a delighted Reynolds told herald.co.nz. "That is one of the best race cars I've ever had around here.
"Apparently that is the fastest time has ever done on a hard tyre.
"Obviously the conditions are very good. As soon as it rains and dries out there is a dry line that is very fast.
"Yea it was a little tricky early on but I just took it easy."
Todd Kelly was the first to get caught out, sliding off on the approach to the back straight and drawing a red flag.
The overhead conditions improved and the track started drying out as the session went on and drivers were able to post some faster times.
The format of the weekend sees four 100km sprint races with no compulsory pit stops meaning drivers will need to complete 35 laps on one set of hard tyres.
Reynolds thinks that will be a big ask of the tyres.
"35 laps here is a very long time. It is a track with a lot of tyre degradation.
"Even if there is a safety car with 15 laps to go you might see guys jump in and grab new tyres. You get lot of yield for a new tyre.
"If you have nothing to lose you will definitely see people jump in under safety car."
Two more half-hour practice sessions are scheduled for Friday with qualifying and two races set for Saturday.