Championship leader Shane van Gisbergen has started the Coates Hire Sydney 500 in perfect style, smashing the lap record in hot conditions during practice at Sydney Olympic Park.

The young Kiwi driver is looking to claim his first ever Supercars title at this weekend’s season finale on the streets of Sydney.

Van Gisbergen leads six-time Champion Jamie Whincup by 191 points with 300 points up for grabs across this weekend’s two 250 kilometre races.

Temperatures climbed into the mid-30s today, forcing drivers to take a number of precautionary measures to fight the intense heat. Despite the hot conditions, six drivers finished under the lap record at Homebush.

CLICK HERE: A Video News Release is now available for download featuring interviews with James Courtney, Garth Tander and Ryan Walkinshaw, along with event colour and practice highlights is now available for download. 

Whincup and Tim Slade also set impressive times in today’s practice as did Scott McLaughlin ahead of his final event in a Volvo this weekend before he moves to a DJR Team Penske Ford next year.

This weekend’s event will also be the last for Walkinshaw Racing as the official factory backed Holden Racing Team. It will also be three-time Bathurst champion Garth Tander’s final race for the team.

The first 250 kilometre race will be held tomorrow ahead of the final 250 kilometre race on Sunday. Both races will be broadcast live on Fox Sports, Network Ten, ONE and WIN TV in  regional areas.