Kiwi driver Fabian Coulthard has set the fastest time in Friday practice for the Sandown 500 near Melbourne.

Steven Richards has showed car No.888 will be a force in Sunday's Sandown 500 after topping the timesheets for co-drivers.

The veteran beat home the field of co-drivers at the Melbourne circuit, topping the charts ahead of Tony D'Alberto (DJR Team Penske) and Warren Luff (Holden Racing Team).

The early results suggest DJR Team Penske and Red Bull Racing will be strong during the meet.

Coulthard was fastest in practice for regular series drivers, meaning both DJR Team Penske cars have notched top two finishes.

Chaz Mostert and Shane Van Gisbergen completed the top three in Friday morning's practice session.

The 500km classic takes place on Sunday with a three-tiered qualifying process on Saturday.