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He and van Gisbergen soon tripped over each other, Slade taking a wide line and appearing to open the door for the Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver to pass.
That gap then closed, the pair making contact and sending the Ford driver into a slow speed spin.
“We obviously haven't done any real miles this year so everything feels very foreign,” Slade said.
“I'd just jumped in and I wasn't looking in the rear-view mirror. My bad.
“Luckily there was no damage and we managed to press on and get some laps in at the end of the session.”
Van Gisbergen was philosophical of the incident, putting it down to a misunderstanding between the two as Slade acclimatised himself with his new office.
“It was a bit of an awkward one, I could see he was pretty slow,” van Gisbergen reasoned.
“I was on a lap but I bailed out and gave him some space, I just waited for him down the hill.
“As we got to the Elbow, I made my intention clear to pass him down the inside, he went super wide and saw me, and then he just come across and I went, ‘shit', and got into the brakes to try and pull out of it.
“I thought he'd see me but obviously he hadn't,” the Kiwi added.
“That's the thing, I feel for these co-drivers, they haven't done many laps, it's going to be tough for them.
“It sucks for us to lose track time, we were working through a good programme there, but we've got time to make it up.
“Just a little bit tweaked. Nothing feels broken, maybe just a little bent, better just to check it out.”
The Slade/McLaughlin entry ended the session eighth fastest, though had been quickest when the champion-elect handed the car over to his new-for-2020 co-driver.
It was the first time the former Brad Jones Racing full-timer had climbed into the car since the pre-season test at The Bend Motorsport Park in February.
“Definitely not on top of it now,” he admitted.
“The car's quite different to what I've driven in the past few years.
“It's good though, my main concern was the seat position, and all that feels pretty good.
“It's like any foreign car you jump in, you take a few laps and you start here and build up to the job as a co-driver. It feels good.”