Triple Eight Race Engineering has capped off a perfect day of fast practice running for Mercedes AMG at Bathurst, with a 1-2 result in FP4.
Shane Van Gisbergen took the #888 car to the top of FP4 with a 2:03.9649 to set the best time of the day. This completes a day in which an AMG topped every full-field session, with a different car setting the best time each one.
Second on the timing screens was the Pro-Am Triple Eight Race Engineering prepared Mercedes AMG; Anton De Pasquale in the #777 setting an impressive string of laps in the low 2:04’s, including three PB’s in a row, settling on a 2:04.1684.
Third was the #222 Audi Sport Team Valvoline R8 at the hands of Kelvin van der Linde, with the sister #22 Audi of Christopher Mies in fourth. The top five was completed by the GruppeM Mercedes AMG, almost a second down on the lead time.
Porsche and Lamborghini both featured in the top 10, with Marco Mapelli taking the #63 Orange 1 FFF Racing Huracan to eighth, while Ben Barker was the best positioned Porsche, setting the early benchmark in the #4 Grove Racing 911 at a 2:05.0264.
The session was halted early on in the piece with a red flag brought out around 10 minutes in. Sergey Afanasiev found the wall coming down the mountain, making significant front-end contact with the wall in the Esses, but was able to crawl back into the pits under the car’s own power.
There was also a close escape for Scott Dixon at the seat of the #76 R-Motorsport Aston Martin; the car spun on the entry to Forrest Elbow, making light contact with the inside wall. Luckily the car suffered no visible damage and continued on without further incident.
The top Silver time was set by Cameron McConville, settling the #6 Wall Racing Lamborghini Huracan in 18th place with a 2:06.0336. Nick Percat again topped the Invitational class, with the #91 T2 Racing MARC II sitting in 20th at the end of the session.
The GT4 tussle went back the way of Mercedes, with the #19 car finishing 3 seconds up on the BMW M4.
Only 36 cars took to the track, with both Bentley Team M-Sport Continental GT3s not making it out of the garage. The #8 diagnosed a sensor problem in FP3, but didn’t make it to the track, while more significant investigation is being undertaken on the #7 car.
An undiagnosed drivetrain problem requiring the team to change the car’s engine. A Bentley spokesperson told DSC that the team expects both cars to be ready for FP5 tomorrow.
Track action for the Bathurst 12 Hour field commences tomorrow at 8:45 local time, with the final free practice session.
Qualifying starts at 12:40, with the Top 10 Shootout at 17:10 AEDT.
All of Saturday’s action will be streamed online via the Bathurst 12 Hour website for international viewers and on Kayo Sports in Australia, while Fox Sports will start their broadcast with Qualifying tomorrow on Fox Sports 506.