GruppeM Mercedes on pole for Bathurst 12 Hour
The #62 Aston Martin Vantage of R-Motorsport has been stripped of the Allan Simonsen Pole Award Trophy after stewards excluded the entry from Bathurst 12 Hour Top 10 Shootout.
As a result the GruppeM Mercedes will start the opening round of the 2019 Intercontinental GT Challenge, the Bathurst 12 Hour, from pole position.
R-Motorsport Aston Martin driver Jake Dennis was thought to be on pole with a lap of 2m02.494s, which put him four-tenths of a second clear of the entire field.
R-MOTORSPORT has been excluded from the results of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour Pirelli Top-10 shootout, officially handing the Allan Simonsen pole position award to GruppeM Racing’s Mercedes-AMG GT3.
Officials found a technical breach related to the mandated rev limit threshold of the Aston Martin Vantage GT3s V12 engine.
The penalty applied by the stewards of the meeting was exclusion from the results of the Pirelli Top-10 Shootout.
Exclusion from the shootout results relegated the car to 10th position, with the existing two-position grid penalty for speeding in pit lane during an earlier session ultimately moving them a further two places down the grid to twelfth.
R-Motorsport had initially been award the prestigious Allan Simonsen pole trophy despite the pit lane speeding penalty – which was to be applied to starting grid rather than the shootout results.
However, the exclusion of the car ensures the car will be recorded to have failed to set a time – handing the Allan Simonsen Pole Award to GruppeM Racing on their first visit to Mount Panorama.
A stunning Shootout lap from Italian young-gun Raffaele Marciello saw the bright yellow entry climb from ninth in qualifying to second – and now first – on the final grid.
The official starting order will be released later this evening once any further penalties from qualifying have been applied.
Original Qualifying Report
THE grid-setting Top Ten Shootout has seen Aston Martin’s Jake Dennis dominate the one lap sprint, taking the Allan Simonsen Trophy on debut.
R-Motorsport’s man clocked the fastest time as the last driver on track, recording a lap of 2:02.4946 around Mount Panorama to go over four tenths clear of the pack for pole and the Allan Simonsen Trophy.
However, due to a two-place grid penalty thanks to a pit lane speeding penalty in qualifying, it will be the #999 Team GruppeM Racing entry which will start from the number one position in tomorrow’s 12 Hour race.
Raffaele Marciello drove the wheels off the #999 Mercedes-AMG GT3 as the second car on the road, his time staying at the top of the time sheets until Dennis’ effort knocked him off the perch.
Alexandre Imperatori was the first car on track, his time of 2:04.1910 ended up as the slowest of the session as Marciello and then Christopher Haase in the #2 Audi R8 beat it.
Haase had a scrappy lap, 2:03.7828 was the best he could muster which ended up only being good enough for ninth. His team-mate Kelvin van der Linde was one of four cars to do a lap in the 2:03.1’s, a 2:03.1791 to be exact which resulted in the #22 starting sixth tomorrow.
Steven Kane was Bentley’s sole runner in the shootout session, going close but not close enough to knock off Marciello with a 2:03.1083, starting on the second row in fourth on Sunday.
Matt Campbell was the first Australian to complete a lap, struggling to get temperature into his tires which resulted in a lap of 2:03.1863 around Mount Panorama. The #912 Porsche 911 will start from seventh in the 12 Hour.
Next on the run home was Yelmer Buurman, starting the run of three Mercedes-AMG GT3 cars in a row. The Dutchman lost time throughout the lap, managing a 2:03.3646, good enough only for eighth position on the grid.
As the only driver to score pole in the event before on the 12 Hour grid, Maro Engel hit the track next. A good first sector turned into a slower end to the lap, bringing the big Merc home in third with a 2:03.0419, starting second tomorrow due to Dennis’ penalty.
David Reynolds was the last Australian to hit the road, driving the #777 with fellow Aussies Luke Youlden and Yasser Shahin. The two-time Bathurst 1000 pole-sitter dropped in to fifth with a 2:03.1735, down on the time he would have hoped for.
Finally it was the turn of Jake Dennis who went four tenths up on provisional pole in the first sector, losing a bit of time over the top but clawing it back in the final sector to go 0.4402 of Marciello.
The top ten order for tomorrow’s grid will be #999, #77, #62, #107, #777, #22, #912, #19, #2 and #18 in the first five rows of the grid.
Result: Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, Qualifying
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