Ford star Cameron Waters has topped the time sheets in practice for this weekend's Supercars event in Auckland.
The Prodrive Racing Australia star clocked a fastest lap of one minute and 02.5623 seconds at Pukekohe Park Raceway ahead of championship leader Jamie Whincup (1:02.7037).
Waters' teammate Mark Winterbottom was third fastest in 1:02.7097.
Whincup's championship rival Scott McLaughlin, fastest in the day's earlier opening session, appeared destined to go quickest again after posting a 1:02.7362 but was out of his car watching in the pits when the other drivers posted their times at the end of the 40-minute session.
Another title contender, Chaz Mostert, was fifth with defending series champion Shane Van Gisbergen the sixth-fastest driver on the day.
Ford's Fabian Coulthard, who is a mere 17 points behind Whincup in the championship standings, could only post the 14th-fastest time of the day.
All up 189 points separate Whincup and fifth-placed Van Gisbergen as the title race goes into the penultimate event.
The Auckland SuperSprint continues on Saturday with qualifying from 12.25pm before a 70-lap race starts at 4.10pm.