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Waters content with surprise shootout lap

Daniel Herrero

Saturday 3rd February, 2018 - 7:09pm

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The #55 Strakka Racing Mercedes-AMG

Cameron Waters believes that he maximised his Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour Top 10 Shootout lap despite having to be dragged away from a massage table for the surprise start.

Waters had qualified the #55 Strakka Racing entry 11th on the grid after being given custody of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 for Qualifying 2, making him the fastest of the Silver Arrows.

That result became a shootout berth when the #100 BMW Team SRM M6 was excluded from qualifying for a technical breach, meaning that the Tickford Racing Supercars driver was first out for the afternoon’s one-lap dash.

While slower than his qualifying effort, Waters drove a composed lap which yielded a 2:03.4181s and ultimately saw him take sixth on the starting grid.

“I think it was about half an hour before the shootout,” Waters told Speedcafe.com of when he found out that he would be a starter in the shootout.

“I was getting a massage, I was clocked off for the day, and they told me I had to get my kit on and get straight back in the car pretty much.”

The 23-year-old qualified the Mercedes despite having not driven in a GT3 event prior to this weekend’s Bathurst 12 Hour, but said that the experience was not dramatically different to that of a Supercar shootout.

“It’s obviously cool to be in any Top 10 Shootout around Bathurst, so I was pretty excited when they said I actually got it in,” he recounted.

“(It’s a) Similar kind of thing to the Supercar, you’ve just got to man up for the lap.

“You just knew you had to put a clean lap together because everyone’s trying to do a 2:01s and be pole and half of them sprayed it, so it worked well for us.

“I just kind of knew what I had to do to put a lap together and where I could improve and I managed to do that I think.

“The track had maybe got a bit slower for us, so overall I was really happy with my lap to be honest.

“It was fairly clean; I don’t think I could have found too much more in it, so it is what it is.”

Waters is uncertain who will start the #55 Mercedes-AMG but suggested that Italian David Fumanelli may be in the hotseat before dawn.

He hinted that the race may be a battle for the team owing to favourable Balance of Performance adjustments for the Audis and BMWs, which have set the pace all weekend at Mount Panorama.

“Overall, I think we’re probably a bit slower compared to the Audi and BM’(W),” Waters admitted.

“They have a bit better BoP at the moment, but hopefully as a race car we’re okay.”

Race start is tomorrow at 0545 local time/AEDT.

View Speedcafe.com’s comprehensive Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour Form Guide, presented by our platinum partner Mercedes-Benz.

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