25-year-old Chaz Mostert flirted with Shane Van Gisbergen’s Bathurst lap record in the 2018 Top 10 Shootout, winning the Allan Simonsen Pole Award with a stunning 2:01.934 time, less than a second off the all-time best tour in the #43 BMW Team Schnitzer M6 GT3.
Mostert took to the circuit ninth out of the 10 runners, after the car ended up second in Qualifying 2, Mostert putting together a clean, tidy, and rapid lap on the Mount Panorama circuit, handing BMW its first 12 Hour pole since 2007.
“There were some pretty quick Audis out there today, so I knew I had to step it up,” Mostert said.
“It’s special to get the pole this time with Schnitzer Motorsport. The boys gave trust in me to qualify the car, which is great, there’s been so much hard work here to get it on pole. There’s always a tenth or two somewhere, but I’m very happy with that.
“Getting to lead the field away in the dark is important because you reduce the risk of contact with other cars. That’s all this means to me.
“This is probably one of the best pole positions I’ve ever got.”
Mostert’s lap was just 0.235 faster than the second place time by Kelvin van der Linde in the #22 Jamec Pem Audi. Van der Linde looked to better Mostert, the South African going out on track last in the session, his R8 slightly faster through Sector 2, but he couldn’t hold on into the final sequence, ending up with a 2:02.167 lap and the second front-row grid slot.
“It was quite a good lap, over the top I was on the limit but missed out at the end. I had lots of confidence in the car, but it did’t work out,” explained van der Linde after the session.
Making it two Audis in the top three meanwhile, was Christopher Hasse, who held provisional Pole before Mostert and van der Linde went out for their flying laps, the German managing a very respectable 2:02.434 in the #74 Jamec Pem R8.
One of the stars of the show however, was Luke Yopulden who ended up taking fourth. Youlden, driving the Buik Motorworks Lamborghini Gallardo, upset the form books early in the Shootout with a 2:03.235, setting the fastest Sector 1 time in the process and topping the four Pro Am runners that took part.
Completing the top five was Scott McLaughlin, who had a couple of moments towards the end of the lap, finished up with a 2:03.348 in the #47 YNA Autosport McLaren 650S GT3.
Of the under performers in the session, Shane Van Gisbergen could only manage eighth in the #58 YNA McLaren, the Kiwi unable to repeat his 2016 time after an off at Hell Corner into the dust on driver’s right, setting him up poorly for the remainder of the tour.
Matt Campbell also struggled in the Competition Motorsports Porsche, the Australian too hitting the dust hard on the outside of Hell Corner at the start of the lap, ending up 3.1 seconds off the pace in the end, and 10th.
As was previously reported on DSC, the #100 BMW Team SRM M6 GT3 didn’t head out in the Shootout, after being disqualified from Qualifying after failing post-session tech. In its place was the #55 Strakka Mercedes of Cameron Waters, who in effect gained the team five spots, putting the AMG GT3 sixth on the grid with a 2:03.418.
The 2018 Bathurst 12 Hour is set to get underway at 05:45am tomorrow local time.