Outright Bathurst lap record set to fall

The pole-sitting #1 Phoenix Racing Audi

The pole-sitting #1 Phoenix Racing Audi

The coveted outright Bathurst lap record is set to be smashed in today’s Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour.

The record currently stands at 2:08.47s – a time set by TeamVodafone V8 Supercars driver Jamie Whincup on the way victory in the 2007 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.

The record has been held by a V8 Supercars driver since 2002, when Niel Allen’s pre-Chase Formula 5000 effort from 1970 was finally eclipsed.

Last year’s Bathurst 12 Hour saw Craig Lowndes walk away with the fastest lap – the Audi R8 running a best of 2:09.09s. With less parity restrictions and a greater level of competition this year, the outright record will almost certainly be broken.

Craig Baird was penalised yesterday for breaking the 2:08.0s barrier in the #33 Clearwater Ferrari (CLICK HERE for previous story) and says that, with the restriction lifted for the race, 2:06s could be seen.

“The outright record will go for sure,” Baird told Speedcafe.com.

“If there’s a sprint to the end on light fuel, then we’ll be talking about 6s and 7s.

“These GT3 cars are just amazing to drive around here, they’re seriously quick cars.”

Warren Luff, who was the fastest of the six factory Audi drivers in qualifying, expects the pace of the race to vary greatly throughout the day.

“If the conditions are right and there is a need to push I think you’ll see several cars in the low 2:08s and maybe even into the high 7s,” Luff told Speedcafe.com.

“The real race pace will be 9s and 10s, but there will be periods in the race where it’s quicker than qualifying pace.

“Because of the 2:08.0s barrier, we haven’t seen anyone show their true hands yet, so it’s going to be a really interesting race.”

Scattered showers predicted to hit the Bathurst region throughout the day may prove to have the biggest bearing on the speed of the race.

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