The S5000s was the first national category to hit the track for practice.
Early morning warm-up laps saw Team BRM's last-minute team made a statement, taking the top two times.
Thomas Randle finished with the fastest time of 50.3805 seconds - this would have been enough to eclipse Alfredo Costanzo's 1980 record of 50.66.
Racing partner Joey Mawson followed close behind with 50.6582 seconds.
"So far, so good," Randle said after the first practice.
"I'm just trying to re-learn the car since it's been 10 months since I've driven it, and re-learn the circuit and learning both for the first time together.
"It was pretty full-on, very busy laps and very different to driving a supercar around here."
Team Valvoline's James Golding then cruised into the limelight, topping the first practice race ahead of Randle and Mawson respectively.
Next practice was nigh-on a carbon copy of the first.
Golding, Randle and Mawson handled the turns and hairpins with ease while other racers needed to make regular stops to the pits to keep up.
Mawson etched out his BRM colleague by 0.2379 seconds to get the second-best time, behind who else but Golding by a miniscule 0.0201 seconds.
With two top times, Golding established himself as the favourite to easily clear Costanzo's record, and target a podium position in the races ahead.
- James Golding - 49.3463
- Thomas Randle - 49.6614
- Joey Mawson - 49.7056
- James Golding - 49.6736
- Joey Mawson - 49.6937
- Thomas Randle - 49.8385
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT:
If you weren't awake before the Trans Ams started their engines, you certainly were after.
The bullishness of the category started before the cars even hit the track, with Hadrian Morrall accidentally bumping into the nose of fellow Queenslander Nathan Herne in the line-up.
Devonport-born Owen Kelly showed his quality early on in the practice races
In the first laps, Marcos Ambrose-led Kelly finished with a second-best time behind Queenslander Aaron Seton.
While Kelly said before the Saturday that he hadn't raced at Symmons in 14 years, he looked as comfortable as ever.
"It's a great little track with a really short lap time and you're always busy around here [the hairpin]," he said.
It's a great little track with a really short lap time and you're always busy around here [the hairpin]Owen Kelly on being back at Symmons Plains
Fellow Tasmanians Tim Shaw and Sam Walter weren't as successful, finishing with less than ideal times in the tail-end of the grid.
After finishing fourth in the first practice, Lee Holdsworth's brother Brett pushed his Camaro to its limits to top the second.
Despite hitting the hairpin beach hard, Herne finished fourth while Seten took third and Kelly once again finished second, putting him in prime position to perform well on Monday.
- Aaron Seton - 54.8539
- Owen Kelly - 55.0021
- Nathan Herne - 55.3279
- Brett Holdsworth - 54.7618
- Owen Kelly - 54.9678
- Aaron Seton - 55.0015
Lee Holdsworth's familiarity with Symmons held him in good stead as he displayed top form in his first proper TCR outing.
The Supercars champion finished the first practice race with the top time, followed by Team Garry Rogers member Jordan Cox and Holdsworth's Ashley Seward teamate, 17-year-old Jay Hanson.
Team Seward's talent once again shone in the second practice.
While Holdsworth held the top spot, Hanson beat a back-and-forth contest with Cox and Brad Sheils to take the second time.
Supercars veteran Michael Caruso dropped down the grid early on after biting off more than he could chew, overcompensating on the final turn and hitting the sand.
He bounced back, however, finishing with the sixth-best time of 56.3275.
- Lee Holdsworth - 55.7559
- Jordan Cox - 55.9003
- Jay Hanson - 55.9519
- Lee Holdsworth - 55.9336
- Jay Hanson - 56.1944
- Jordan Cox - 56.2204
Launceston-born Adam Garwood ran into trouble early in the first practice, blowing out his Camaro on the way out of the hairpin and not finishing.
Father Greg Garwood was able to finish, but with a third-last time of 58.817 seconds.
With his S5000 days well and truly in the rear-view mirror, John Bowe demonstrated his stamina in the TCMs.
The Paynter Dixon racer finished with the second-best time in the first practice, behind Multispares Racing's Ryan Hansford and in front of Pacer racer Cameron Tilley.
Bowe's long-time friendly rival in Steve Johnson would follow close behind Tilley.
The junior Garwood redeemed himself in the qualifier, finishing third.
Bowe jumped into first in the category, meaning he'll start at pole in the first race on Monday.
- Ryan Hansford - 56.6974
- John Bowe - 56.8987
- Cameron Tilley - 57.1339
- John Bowe - 56.2759
- Ryan Hansford - 56.6071
- Adam Garwood - 56.6870