Engel edges Salo to Bathurst 12 Hour pole
Maro Engel and Erebus Motorsport have pipped Mika Salo and Maranello to the Allan Simonsen Pole Trophy.
A 2:03.86s lap from the German in the dying stages of the final 15 minute session was the only lap all day to better Salo’s morning benchmark.
The time, which is the quickest lap ever recorded by a closed-top car in an officially timed session at Bathurst, came despite track temperatures being significantly higher than that experienced during the morning.
“It’s awesome,” said Engel, who dedicated the result to Simonsen and Sean Edwards, both of whom were killed in GT cars last year.
“It’s a great start the to the weekend for all the boys.
“It’ll be a long day tomorrow. We’ll have to keep circulating, keep out of trouble and be there in the last hour.”
Engel had earlier had his penultimate lap ruined by the Craig Lowndes-driven Maranello Ferrari, which momentarily held up the German through The Dipper.
The #37 Quinn McLaren and #63 Erebus Mercedes will share the second row of the grid thanks to the efforts of Shane van Gisbergen and Will Davison in the final session.
Van Gisbergen set a best of 2:04.0006s before the MP412C stopped on the run up to The Cutting prior to the chequered flag.
A 2:05.3s lap from Peter Kox put the #23 JBS Lamborghini fourth in Q3 behind Engel, Van Gisbergen and Davison.
The car will start sixth on combined times thanks to David Russell’s 2:05.0s from Q2.
The inside of the third row will be taken by the #32 Nismo Nissan, which relies on its morning Q1 time.
See below for the top 20 qualifying positions
|1||1||Erebus Motorsport||B.Schneider/M.Engel/N.Bastian||Mercedes SLS AMG GT3||2:03.8586|
|2||88||il Bello Rosso||P.Edwards/J.Bowe/C.Lowndes/M.Salo||Ferrari F458 Italia||2:03.9421|
|3||37||Darrell Lea||T.Quinn/K.Quinn/A.Kirkaldy/S.van Gisbergen||McLaren MP4 12C||2:04.0006|
|4||63||Erebus Motorsport||W.Davison/J.Le Brocq/G.Crick||Mercedes SLS AMG GT3||2:04.2563|
|5||32||NISMO Athlete Global Team||R.Kelly/K.Chiyo/A.Buncombe/W.Reip||Nissan GT-R NISMO GT||2:04.8228|
|6||23||JBS Swift||R.Lago/D.Russell/P.Kox||Lamborghini Gallardo||2:05.0320|
|7||9||Network Clothing / Hallmarc||M.Cini/M.Eddy/C.Mies||Audi R8 LMS Ultra||2:05.5919|
|8||3||Phoenix Racing||R.Frey/R.Rast/L.Vanthoor||Audi R8 LMS Ultra||2:05.5946|
|9||25||United Autosports||M.Patterson/E.Lux/M.Winkelhock||Audi R8 LMS Ultra||2:05.7175|
|10||48||M Motorsport||J.McMillan/S.Richards/D.Wood/R.Lilley||Lamborghini Gallardo||2:06.3498|
|11||84||HTP Motorsport||H.Primat/T.Jaeger/M.Buhk||Mercedes SLS AMG GT3||2:06.8470|
|12||33||Clearwater Racing||W S Mok/C.Baird/M.Griffin/H.Hamaguchi||Ferrari F458 Italia||2:07.2414|
|13||77||AF Corse||S.Wyatt/M.Rugolo/M.Cioci||Ferrari F458 Italia||2:07.5143|
|14||14||Oakley Motorsports||O.Gavin/R.Huff/R.Meins/K.Gleason||Audi R8 LMS||2:07.9990|
|15||71||Equity-One Mortgage Fund||D.Koutsoumidis/D.Grant/D.Fiore/M.Loccisano||Audi R8 LMS||2:08.4130|
|16||69||Superbarn Supermarkets Pty Ltd||J.Koundouris/T.Koundouris/S.Owen/M.Twigg||Porsche 911 GT3 Cup||2:08.7029|
|17||4||Grove Group||S.Grove/E.Bamber/B.Barker||Porsche 997 GT3 Cup||2:09.7907|
|18||12||Ice Break / Competition Motorsports||D.Calvert-Jones/A.Davison/P.Long||Porsche 997 GT3 Cup||2:10.2842|
|19||45||Rentcorp Hyundai Forklifts||D.Padayache/R.Muscat/B.Mawer||Porsche 997 GT3 Cup||2:11.6515|
|20||67||Motorsport Services||J.Lowrey/T.Richards/J.Venter||Porsche 997 GT3 Cup||2:14.7114|