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Holdsworth fastest in Supercars practice

Ford's Lee Holdsworth has upset red-hot Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin to top the timesheets in practice for the Townsville 400.

The Tickford Racing driver clocked a last-gasp one minute and 12.6772 seconds lap on the Reid Park street circuit on Friday to finish ahead of Holden's Shane Van Gisbergen (1:12.6904).

Holdsworth claimed the first of his four career pole positions in Townsville in 2009, and the 36-year-old was hopeful Friday's performance was an indication of a good weekend ahead.

"It's good to be back. Fastest on Friday, it's only practice, but I'm getting more comfortable in the car every time I get in it," Holdsworth said.

"Here we are, we've rolled out with a good car and, hopefully, we can continue that form into the weekend."

DJR Team Penske star McLaughlin, who comes into the weekend holding a 319-point lead in the standings after winning 12 of 16 races in 2019, had been leading the timesheets until the dying seconds, with his 1:12.6974 fast enough for third position.

The New Zealander said afterwards he had set his quickest lap without using green tyres unlike the two drivers who finished above him.

"The first six laps were race runs and then we jumped on to a bit of a qualifying set-up at the end," McLaughlin said.

"Not sure what everyone else was doing around me but we didn't put rubber on or anything like that. I think we're okay ... it was a pretty productive day."

Holden's David Reynolds, who didn't even come out of his garage in a rain-affected morning practice session, was fourth fastest with a 1:12.7545 lap.

Cam Waters, who topped the timesheets in the wet morning session, was fifth fastest in the afternoon half-hour hit-out.

McLaughlin's teammate and championship rival Fabian Coulthard was eighth quickest.

Ford's Chaz Mostert, who only ran five laps in the morning session, came in 14th and labelled his day a "waste" after issues with his Tickford Racing Mustang.

It was a tough day as well for Holden's Jamie Whincup, with the 10-time Townsville race winner finishing 16th on the timesheets.

The Townsville 400 continues on Saturday with qualifying from 11:50am before a 200km race starts at 3:10pm.

A second 200km race will be held on Sunday.

© AAP 2019