Ferrari Storms To Emotional Bathurst Pole
The first ever Pirelli Top-10 Shootout at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour has been emotionally claimed by Ferrari team Maranello Motorsport – delivering them the prestigious Allan Simonsen pole award.
Chaz Mostert pushed his MARC GT M6 to second place while German young-gun Marco Wittmann took the BMW Team SRM M6 GT3 to third.
"I have been super stoked with the whole weekend so far, the BMW hasn't put a foot out of place yet and the car is really quite comfortable," Mostert said.
"It was interesting watching the times at the start of the top ten - obviously the temp went up a lot this afternoon, and we were watching a ‘three eight' as the best until the last three guys went out. We knew it was going to be quite slippery out there, I don't know if (the temp) came down a bit more towards the end there but there is still a lot of grip in these cars so I was pretty stoked with that lap.
"These guys next to us though have done an awesome job all weekend and they are going to be hard to beat tomorrow."
In fourth was the ever-surprising Miedecke Stone Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage, the V12-powered car leaping from eighth in the earlier qualifying session to a prime spot on the outside of the second row thanks to the efforts of Ash Walsh.
The third car to run, it took Wittmann and Mostert to bump the Aston from the top spot late in the Shootout – his 2m03.823s lap locking them into fourth on the grid.
Bentley Motorsport scored their best ever starting position on the Mountain thanks to a fifth-placed effort by Belgian driver Maxime Soulet, while defending champions McLaren will start sixth thanks to a solid effort from Alvaro Parente – the defending 12-hour winner.
Kiwi Earl Bamber put the Walkinshaw Racing Porsche seventh, Timo Glock was eighth in the second BMW Team SRM entry and Matt Campbell ninth in the Ice Break Racing Competition Motorsports Porsche.
Sydney young-gun Nathan Antunes was 10th in the GT Motorsport Audi in what was something of a giant-killing performance from the Audi entry, beating their high-profile teammates from Jamec Pem Racing into the top-10.
Shock omissions from the Pirelli Shootout included the second Bentley Continental GT3 (who could only manage 17th), both JAMEC-PEM Audi's – including the star Christopher Mies / Christopher Haase / Garth Tander No. 75 car (15th) and notably the 2015 winning Nissan GTR.
The factory Nissan entry was damaged in a crash in this morning's practice session when Katsumasa Chiyo clipped the wall entering the dipper. Though the team was able to repair the car, they narrowly missed the Shootout and will start the race 12th tomorrow – just in front of the sister No. 24 car that was repaired overnight.
Defending Virgin Australia Supercars Champion and 12-hour winner Shane van Gisbergen could only manage to drag his STM AMG GT3 to 18th position, while defending Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 winner Will Davison's plans hang on a late-night repair job for his McLaren team after co-driver Ben Barnicoat crashed exiting the chase earlier today.
The team is freighting in parts from Queensland overnight in an effort to have the car back on track for the start tomorrow.
The Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour commences at 5:45am tomorrow morning and will be shown live on 7mate around Australia, and via a free live stream around the world on www.bathurst12hour.com.au
Result of Shootout (Pro-Pro / Pro - Am)
A lap of Bathurst with Patrick Long
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