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Canto tops Bathurst 1000 practice

Ford gun Mark Winterbottom's co-driver Dean Canto has topped Bathurst 1000 opening practice on Friday at Mount Panorama.

Canto clocked two minutes, 05.33 seconds in a blistering one hour session featuring only co-drivers.

The Ford driver topped the timesheets, pipping Holden great Garth Tander's teammate James Golding (2:05.34) and Holden pilot Scott Pye's co-driver Warren Luff (2:05.48).

Final practice will be held at 11.40am.

Qualifying for Sunday's Great Race will be held from 3.50pm.

"Frosty (Winterbottom) now has to concentrate on qualifying," Canto said.

"Race pace car is good. Qualifying is not as important around here but you want to be up the front for the Great Race."

Former Supercars champion Winterbottom was licking his lips ahead of qualifying after Canto's heroics.

"We have made it quick in spots where we have to race - last corner, turn one - we have tidied it up and it looked like it had a bit left too," said the 2013 Bathurst champion.

The entire 26-strong field contested Friday's opening practice after two major casualties of Thursday's practice day were somehow repaired in time.

Tim Slade's Holden was back out on the track after being in the Brad Jones Racing (BJR) garage since early in Thursday's opening session.

BJR's crew worked into the night after Slade slammed into the wall at 176km/h at the Esses just 30 minutes into Thursday's first stint.

They missed the next two practice sessions but it was back out on track on Friday with Andre Heimgartner behind the wheel.

Kiwi Heimgartner replaced Ash Walsh on Friday after he succumbed to injuries suffered in a high speed crash during testing at Phillip Island last week.

Defending series champion Shane van Gisbergen's Holden was out of the garage with co-driver Matt Campbell after it also came to grief on Thursday.

Van Gisbergen's Red Bull Racing team looked set for a long night after he smashed into the wall at The Dipper on top of the mountain halfway through the final one hour session, prompting a red flag.

However, RBR remarkably reported no major damage.