Hot pace in first Bathurst 12 Hour practice

Action from Practice 1 at Mount Panorama

Action from Practice 1 at Mount Panorama

The pace is hot at Mount Panorama following the first practice session at the Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour this morning.

Audi has picked up where they left off in 2011 by topping the first session, but there were four manufacturers in the top five in what is shaping as the 12 Hour’s most competitive field yet.

Warren Luff, who will pair up with Craig Lowndes and Mark Eddy, banked the fastest time in the Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS, his 2m08.6474s well underneath last years’ pole time and 0.6s clear of the Dominik Farnbacher-driven Maranello Motorsport Ferrari (2m09.27).

Under the race’s parity regulations, any car that goes below 2:08.0s in either practice or qualifying will have 50kg added to its starting weight.

V8 ace Cam McConville was third fastest in the Consolidated Chemical Lamborghini Gallardo, splitting the session with GT champion Peter Kox and well into the 2m09s early into the session.

After an early installation run from Tim Slade, Californian Grand-Am ace Brett Curtis completed most of the session in the leading Erebus/Black Falcon SLS AMG with the pair ending the session fifth – but with a non representative time of the SLS’s abilities.

The JBS Lamborghini of Roger Lago and David Russell was sixth, just ahead of the United Autosports Audi, with British GT ace Mark Patterson getting his first laps of Bathurst in the R8 in practice one.

The Clearwater Ferrari, the Nathan Tinkler/Steve Johnson/Steve Richards Class B Porsche and the second Erebus/Black Falcon Mercedes completed the top 10.

A strong 11th was the Donut King Nissan GTR – first in Class C, while rally champion-turned tarmac ace Dean Herridge was the quickest of the production car ranks in his Subaru Impreza STi.

Stick with Speedcafe.com for reports and news, direct from Mount Panorama this weekend.

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