Peter Hackett was comfortably fastest in both CAMS Australian GT Championship qualifying sessions in the #63 Mercedes-AMG GT3 at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Hackett put his stamp on proceedings on his second lap in each of the 15-minute sessions before going even faster on his next lap on both occasions.
His best time in the Eggleston Motorsport entry was ultimately a 1:27.7283s set on Lap 3 of Qualifying 2.
Steve Richards/Ricky Capo will start Race 1 from the outside of the front row after the former was faster in the #100 BMW Team SRM BMW M6 in Qualifying 1 with a 1:28.3849.
Fraser Ross improved by over 0.4s from session to session to go third-fastest on combined times in the #59 YNA Autosport McLaren 650S, while Cameron McConville earned fourth for the #6 Wall Racing Lamborghini Huracan which he is sharing with Adrien Deitz.
Liam Talbot (Walkinshaw GT3 Porsche 911 GT3 R) recorded 1:29.0s times in both sessions to qualify fifth, where he will start alongside the Miedecke Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 of father and son Andrew and George Miedecke which missed practice due to a coil pack failure.
Yasser Shahin might have pinched a spot on the front row but his fastest lap of Qualifying 2 was affected by traffic in the form of the #50 M Motorsport KTM X-Bow GT4 at the Turn 8 hairpin.
It was still the fastest lap (1:29.2677s) for the #777 The Bend Mercedes-AMG GT3 which will be joined on Row 4 by 2017 Australian GT champion Geoff Emery (#1 Jamec-Pem Audi R8 LMS GT3).
Australian GT Championship leader Tony Bates (#24 KFC Audi R8 LMS GT3) and Trophy Series leader Nick Kelly (#99 Industrie Audi R8 Ultra GT3) rounded out the top 10.
The #96 Hobson Motorsport Nissan GT-R of Brett Hobson was less than 0.04s outside in 11th position.
The fastest of the two GT4 entries was the aforementioned X-Bow thanks to Trent Harrison’s effort in Qualifying 1 (1:36.1909s), 22nd outright of the 24-strong field, in the car which he is co-driving with David Crampton.
While Hackett’s benchmark was far from a practice/qualifying lap record, it was over 0.7s faster than that which Kelvin van der Linde clocked on his way to pole at SMP last year.
Race 1 of the penultimate round of the season, to be run over 40 minutes, starts today at 1550 local time/AEST.
Results: Qualifying (Combined)
|1||63||Eggleston Motorsport||Peter Hackett||Mercedes-AMG GT3||CH||Q2||1:27.7283|
|2||100||BMW Team SRM||S.Richards
|BMW M6 GT3||CH||Q1||1:28.3849||0:00.6566|
|3||59||Total Oil / Opti-Coat / Logite||Fraser Ross||McLaren 650S GT3||CH||Q2||1:28.4456||0:00.7173|
|5||911||Walkinshaw GT3||Liam Talbot||Porsche 911 GT3 R||CH||Q2||1:29.0024||0:01.2741|
|6||95||Miedecke Motorsport / Magswitc||A.Miedecke
|Aston Martin Vantage||CH||Q1||1:29.1378||0:01.4095|
|7||777||The Bend Motor Sport Park||Yasser Shahin||Mercedes-AMG GT3||CH||Q2||1:29.2677||0:01.5394|
|8||1||Valvoline||Geoff Emery||Audi R8 LMS||CH||Q2||1:29.4035||0:01.6752|
|9||24||KFC/Ctech Laser/Moveitnet/B&B||Tony Bates||Audi R8 LMS||CH||Q2||1:29.9908||0:02.2625|
|10||99||Industrie||Nick Kelly||Audi R8 LMS Ultra||TR||Q2||1:30.2264||0:02.4981|
|11||96||Hobson Motorsport / Hi-Tech Oi||Brett Hobson||Nissan GTR Nismo GT3||CH||Q1||1:30.2646||0:02.5363|
|12||25||BTE Bulk Transport Equipment /||Ryan How||Audi R8 LMS Ultra||TR||Q2||1:31.0156||0:03.2873|
|13||222||Scott Taylor Motorsport||Scott Taylor||Mercedes-AMG GT3||CH||Q2||1:31.1152||0:03.3869|
|14||19||Hogs Breath Cafe / Griffith Co||Mark Griffith||Mercedes Benz GT3||CH||Q2||1:31.2770||0:03.5487|
|15||23||Kentucky Fried Chicken||Matthew Stoupas||Audi R8 LMS Ultra||TR||Q2||1:31.3038||0:03.5755|
|16||7||Local Legends Beef Jerky||Tony Quinn||Aston Martin Vantage||CH||Q2||1:31.4903||0:03.7620|
|17||147||Superfluid||Dave Stevens||Ferrari 458 GT3||TR||Q2||1:31.9091||0:04.1808|
|18||188||E.A.T. Furniture||Rio Nugara||Audi R8 LMS Ultra||TR||Q2||1:32.3518||0:04.6235|
|20||991||Perfect Auto Body||Vincent Muriti||Audi R8 LMS Ultra||TR||Q2||1:33.3134||0:05.5851|
|21||29||Haemokinesis / Trofeo Estate /||Jim Manolios||Lamborghini Huracan||CH||Q1||1:35.5357||0:07.8074|
|22||50||Vantage Freight / M Motorsport||D.Crampton
|Reiter KTM X-Bow||GT4||Q1||1:36.1909||0:08.4626|
|Ferrari 458 Challenge||TR||Q1||1:36.4393||0:08.7110|
|24||67||JMG / Bilstein||Jeremy Gray||Aston Martin Vantage||GT4||Q1||1:36.6242||0:08.8959|