Title contenders Scott McLaughlin and Jamie Whincup each set a fastest time in the two practice sessions at the championship finale on the streets of Newcastle today.

Whincup, who holds a narrow 30-point lead in the championship, was fast out of the gate as the street circuit made its Supercars debut in spectacular fashion.

New Zealander McLaughlin answered back in the day's second session however to set an impressive time.

While practice results count for very little it does suggest the two main protagonists should be among the front-runners when qualifying and the first race of the weekend takes place tomorrow.


"To be the fastest by a margin is nice but we've got a long way to go and we'll focus on it overnight," McLaughlin said.

"I've got a few things I need to work on myself - the lap wasn't completely perfect.

"Ludo [engineer Ludo Lacroix] and myself will knuckle down and try and make the car even better."

The new track means no one has any previous information to use to help set the cars up perfectly, which could see some unusual suspects fighting at the front.

"There's 24 other guys and girls out there trying to get in front," Whincup said.

"We won't have it all our own way. Hopefully it's a good, fair race, both cars are reliable and we go there and race hard."

The street circuit, located right on the surf beach in downtown Newcastle received positive reviews.

"It's going to be a crazy challenge to get it all right and keep it clean for 95 (laps) times two this weekend but that's all part of the job," Whincup said.

"I thought there would be a bit more flow but it's actually quite stop-start. The grip is slightly higher than anticipated and it's bumpier than we anticipated."