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Lee Holdsworth continues hot Bathurst form

Popular veteran Lee Holdsworth has stamped himself as the in-form co-driver ahead of the Bathurst 1000.

The 38-year-old, who is gearing up for his 18th-straight Great Race, recorded the fastest time by about half a second during Saturday morning’s Supercars practice session.

It comes after Holdsworth was also the quickest during another co-driver session at Mount Panorama on Thursday.

Due to not having a full-time drive this year, Holdsworth is teamed up with Walkinshaw Andretti United star Chaz Mostert.

In their Commodore, the pair shape as one of the favourites to take out Sunday’s 161-lap race.

Mostert set the quickest time during practice six, the last session before the top-10 shootout.

Defending champion Shane van Gisbergen was second-fastest, almost pipping Mostert with a scorching lap in the dying stages.

Holdsworth’s best finish in the Bathurst 1000 was third back in 2009 with Michael Caruso, but believes his partnership with Mostert gives him his best opportunity yet to snatch his maiden win at Mount Panorama.

Mostert has the experience of winning the race in 2014 and has also been in terrific form.

A number of drivers ran into trouble during practice five, with Kelly Grove Racing Andre Heimgartner’s co-driver Matt Campbell smashing their Ford into a wall.

The session was red-flagged for almost 10 minutes while the Mustang was taken back to the garage.

Star veteran Craig Lowndes suffered slight engine troubles but was still able to record the eighth-fastest time.

Lowndes is Jamie Whincup’s co-driver in the seven-time series champion’s final race before becoming Red Bull Ampol boss.

But the legendary pair will not take part in Saturday’s top-10 shootout after Whincup finished 11th in the first round of qualifying.

Whincup again took to the track P6, but appeared lacklustre to finish 15th.

Rookie Will Brown claimed provisional pole with a superb drive on Friday and will be the final driver up during the shootout which will get underway at 5.05 pm AEDT on Saturday.

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