His teammate has snared provisional pole but defending Supercars champion Jamie Whincup faces a nervous wait to get on the grid for Saturday's season opener in Adelaide.
The Red Bull Holden Racing Team star wrecked his Commodore late in Friday's qualifying session at the 3.22km street circuit, the impact sending one of his tyres bouncing down the track.
While Whincup was unhurt in the crash and still managed to qualify for Saturday's top-10 shootout for pole position, the damage to his car might end his weekend prematurely.
"The car's pretty bad, real bad," Whincup told AAP.
"The worst I've seen for a long time ... the priority now is just trying to get out tomorrow.
"We've got time but if the chassis's bent, we're all over."
It was a different scenario on the other side of the garage with teammate Shane Van Gisbergen posting the fastest time in the 20-minute qualifying run.
Van Gisbergen, who won both races last year in Adelaide, clocked a one minute and 20.2467 second lap to finish ahead of Ford's Scott McLaughlin on the timesheets.
"No idea, everyone asks me and I can't put my finger on it," Van Gisbergen said about his good form in South Australia.
"I treat it like every other track, just seem to go pretty good at it ... there's probably five drivers who are always consistently up the front here.
"I don't know what makes it good for me but I always seem to go alright."
Joining Van Gisbergen, McLaughlin and Whincup in the shootout will be veterans James Courtney and Mark Winterbottom as they try to put underwhelming 2017s behind them.
Others to qualify for the one-lap dash for pole position were Bathurst 1000 champion David Reynolds, hometown favourite Nick Percat and two-time Bathurst winner Will Davison.
Ford young gun Cam Waters will start from 19th after his crew managed to repair his Falcon following a high-speed crash in second practice to get him out on track in qualifying.
Saturday's action resumes with the top-10 shootout from 11:55am, before the first of two 250km races this weekend from 3:20pm.