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Tander fastest in Bathurst 1000 practice

Garth Tander was fastest in Thursday's practice at Mount Panorama ahead of the Bathurst 1000. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

Garth Tander was the fastest in practice on Thursday as the wet weather that blanketed large parts of NSW held off in Bathurst.

The four-time champion set the quickest lap of the day posting 2:04.135 in the second practice session after Shell-V Power's Will Davison was two tenths slower in the first run.

Davison navigated a drying opening hour after drivers began their first session with caution.

Bathurst and surrounding areas were hounded by rain on Wednesday, but the showers held off enough for Davison to pip James Golding by 16 thousandths of a second with Andre Heimgartner third.

While the track did eventually dry up the opening session was not without incident.

Cam Waters veered off the track on the final corner causing a red flag while Anton De Pasquale spun out coming down the mountain.

Shane van Gisbergen grazed the left side of his and Tander's car shortly after. The New Zealander can consider himself fortunate not to have caused any major damage and was visibly frustrated after the close call.

His teammate Tander excelled in the co-drivers afternoon session making the most of the conditions with more grip and less moisture.

Tander's familiarity with the circuit was on full display as was his comfort in the Triple Eight Holden. The 45-year-old solo tested the vehicle last week with van Gisbergen participating in a rally competition.

"That's the fastest I've ever been around here in a Supercar," Tander said after practice two.

"As soon as I rolled out I felt really, really comfortable in the car to get straight to the breaking markers as I needed to and start to flow the car across the top of the mountain.

"Lap two of midday I felt really comfortable."

Jake and Kurt Kostecki both caused red flags in the two sessions on a difficult day for the Tickford Racing entry.

Warren Luff's run off was the final stoppage in practice two then like clockwork, the rain began again.

It leaves an adjustment question for all teams with showers forecasted until Sunday's race and the potential of it extending through 161 laps around Mount Panorama.

Four of six practice sessions remain with qualifying on Friday and Saturday.

There are a record 28 entries for the Bathurst 1000, with 56 drivers including seven rookies.

All teams will compete in Friday's first qualifying before the top 10 fight for pole in a Saturday shootout.

BEST BATHURST SUPERCARS PRACTICE TIMES:

P1 (LEAD DRIVERS)

1. Will Davison - 2:04.369

2. James Golding +0.016

3. Andre Heimgartner +0.281

4. David Reynolds +0.871

5. Nick Percat +0.878

P2 (CO-DRIVERS):

1. Garth Tander 2:04.135

2. David Russell +0.101

3. Jamie Whincup +0.311

4. Jordan Boys +0.557

5. Matthew Campbell +0.564