Audi’s Vanthoor tops crash-shortened final practice

The #2 Audi Sport Team Valvoline entry

Audi’s Dries Vanthoor set the pace in final practice for the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, which was shortened due to separate late crashes for a Bentley and the Ferrari.

Daniel Serra came unstuck at McPhillamy Park when he lost the rear end of the #27 HubAuto Corsa Ferrari and spun through the gravel trap before hitting the concrete wall in front of the flag point near Skyline.

At around the same time, Oliver Jarvis ran off at The Chase, initially jinking to the inside of the left-hander before running long through the outfield and sliding into a tyre-protected section of the wall to driver’s right of the exit from the complex.

There appeared to be a braking issue in the #8 Bentley Team M-Sport entry.

The red flag was called in the 57th minute of what ws to have been an hour-long session, which did not restart.

Vanthoor therefore remained on top with a 2:03:4430s in the #2 Audi Sport Team Valvoline entry from Marco Mapelli at 0.1060s slower in the #63 Orange1 FFF Lamborghini, the only other ‘three’ of the session.

Proceedings also began with drama, with the presence of multiple kangaroos on the circuit drawing a first minute red flag and effectively causing a 25-minute delay all told.

When the field was finally sent out for the first proper runs, Matteo Cairoli took the lead with a 2:05.4936s in the #912 Absolute Racing Porsche.

He lowered the benchmark to a 2:04.8794s on his second flyer but with many others turning the wick up compared to Friday’s apparent foxing, it was not too long before the pace moved into the mid-fours and even the 2:03s bracket.

Chaz Mostert showed that the #34 Walkenhorst BMW was far more competitive than it might have appeared a day earlier when he lapped Mount Panorama in a 2:04.8559s almost as soon as Cairoli had found a ‘four’, but was quickly usurped by GruppeM’s Raffaele Marciello with a 2:04.3945s in the #999 Mercedes-AMG.

Mapelli made it four different new fastest laps in a single minute with a 2:04.1121s in the #63 Lamborghini, then rolled out a new weekend-best of 2:03.5490s on his next tour.

At the end of the first proper runs it was the Italian ahead of Mostert on a 2:04.2030s and Marciello on a 2:04.3879s, although the latter had gone fastest to the second sector on his way into pit lane in the 16th minute.

Ben Barker slotted into second position with a 2:04.2030s in the #4 Grove Porsche in the 23rd minute, shortly before Matt Campbell put the #911 Absolute Porsche into fourth with a 2:04.2992s.

While the timing screen had settled somewhat, there were nervous moments on the race track when contact between Marcos Gomes (#27 HubAuto Corsa Ferrari) and Sam Shahin at The Chase caused the latter’s #777 Triple Eight Mercedes-AMG to spin, and then when Luca Ghiotto got loose and ran through the gravel trap at McPhillamy Park, barely keeping the #62 R-Motorsport Aston Martin off the wall.

Kelvin van der Linde took up second spot, albeit still more than six tenths away from Mapelli, with a 2:04.1526s in the #222 Valvoline Audi in the 36th minute, and Maximilian Buhk edged the #999 Mercedes-AMG up one position to fifth with a 2:04.2907s around 10 minutes later.

Dries Vanthoor set what would be the fastest lap of the session with just over five of the scheduled 60 minutes remaining, meaning that Audis were first and third on the timesheet courtesy of the Belgian and van der Linde.

The #4 Grove Porsche ended up fourth, from the #34 Walkenhorst BMW, while Alvaro Parente earned sixth for the #60 59Racing McLaren with a 2:04.2834s just before the final red flag.

The Portuguese driver’s effort shuffled the #999 GruppeM Mercedes-AMG back to seventh, ahead of the #911 Absolute Porsche, the #77 Craft-Bamboo Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG, and the #8 Bentley Team M-Sport car.

Earl Bamber Motorsport’s lead car, the #1 Porsche, was 11th courtesy of a 2:04.5549s from Laurens Vanthoor while the #888 Triple Eight Mercedes-AMG was 15th.

Qualifying follows early this afternoon, with Part 1 for all classes from 12:40 local time/AEDT and Part 2 for Class A immediately following at 13:35.

Results: Practice 5

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver(s) Car Cls Fastest lap Split
1 2 Audi Sport Team Valvoline D.Vanthoor/C.Haase Audi R8 – LMS GT3 PRO 2:03.4430
2 63 Orange 1 FFF Racing Team A.Caldarelli/M.Mapelli/D.Lind Lamborghini Huracan PRO 2:03.5490 0:00.1060
3 222 Audi Sport Team Valvoline K.van der Linde/M.Drudi/M.Winkelhock Audi R8 – LMS GT3 PRO 2:04.1526 0:00.7096
4 4 Team Australia Grove Racing S.Grove/B.Grove/B.Barker Porsche GT3 R PAM 2:04.2030 0:00.7600
5 34 Walkenhorst Motorsport A.Farfus/N.Catsburg/C.Mostert BMW M6 GT3 PRO 2:04.2428 0:00.7998
6 60 59Racing/ EMA Racing A.Parente/B.Barnicoat/T.Blomqvist McLaren 720S GT3 PRO 2:04.2834 0:00.8404
7 999 Mercedes-AMG GruppeM Racing F.Fraga/M.Buhk/R.Marciello Mercedes AMG GT3 PRO 2:04.2907 0:00.8477
8 911 Absolute Racing M.Jaminet/P.Pilet/M.Campbell Porsche GT3 R PRO 2:04.2992 0:00.8562
9 77 Mercedes-AMG Craft-Bamboo M.Engel/L.Stolz Mercedes AMG GT3 PRO 2:04.3939 0:00.9509
10 7 Bentley Team M-Sport J.Gounon/M.Soulet/J.Pepper Bentley Continental PRO 2:04.5295 0:01.0865
11 1 Earl Bamber Motorsport E.Bamber/L.Vanthoor Porsche GT3 R PRO 2:04.5549 0:01.1119
12 912 Absolute Racing D.Werner/M.Cairoli/T.Preining Porsche GT3 R PRO 2:04.5818 0:01.1388
13 18 KCMG J.De Oliveira/E.Liberati/A.Imperatori Nissan GTR Nismo GT PRO 2:04.7373 0:01.2943
14 22 Audi Sport Team Valvoline G.Tander/M.Bortolotti Audi R8 – LMS GT3 PRO 2:04.7508 0:01.3078
15 888 Mercedes-AMG Team Triple Eight S.van Gisbergen/J.Whincup/M.Goetz Mercedes AMG GT3 PRO 2:04.7548 0:01.3118
16 12 NED Racing Team D.Calvert-Jones/R.Dumas Porsche GT3 R PAM 2:04.7953 0:01.3523
17 6 Wall Racing A.D’Alberto/C.McConville Lamborghini Huracan SIL 2:04.8793 0:01.4363
18 76 R – Motorsport J.Dennis/R.Kelly/S.Dixon Aston Martin Vantage PRO 2:05.0660 0:01.6230
19 59 59Racing D.Storey/F.Ross/M.Kodric McLaren 720S GT3 SIL 2:05.1741 0:01.7311
20 27 Hub Auto Corsa M.Gomes/D.Serra Ferrari 488 GT3 PRO 2:05.2611 0:01.8181
21 777 The Bend Motorsport Park Y.Shahin/N.Foster/A.De Pasquale/S.Shahin Mercedes AMG GT3 PAM 2:05.3296 0:01.8866
22 62 R – Motorsport L.Ghiotto/M.Kirchhoefer/O.Caldwell Aston Martin Vantage PRO 2:05.6276 0:02.1846
23 8 Bentley Team M-Sport A.Buncombe/O.Jarvis/S.Morris Bentley Continental PRO 2:05.6735 0:02.2305
24 75 SunEnergy1 Racing D.Baumann/M.Konrad Mercedes AMG GT3 PAM 2:05.7474 0:02.3044
25 30 Honda Racing D.Cameron/R.van der Zande/M.Farnbacher Acura/ Honda NSX GT3 PRO 2:05.8158 0:02.3728
26 46 Black Falcon P.Assenheimer/S.Afanasiev/M.Beretta Mercedes AMG GT3 SIL 2:05.9664 0:02.5234
27 188 Garage 59 A.West/C.Goodwin/M.Martin Aston Martin Vantage PAM 2:06.2855 0:02.8425
28 159 Garage 59 Roman De Angelis Aston Martin Vantage SIL 2:06.8938 0:03.4508
29 91 Scandia Racer Industries A.Cameron/B.Feeney/N.Percat MARC II INV 2:07.0295 0:03.5865
30 29 Trofeo Motorsport L.Talbot/M.Zalloua/G.Denyer Lamborghini Huracan SIL 2:07.3836 0:03.9406
31 20 Local Search A.Hargraves/C.Sbirrazzuoli MARC II INV 2:07.9979 0:04.5549
32 96 Hobson Motorsport B.Hobson/K.Kostecki Nissan GT-R NISMO GT SIL 2:08.2733 0:04.8303
33 92 Scandia Racer Industries H.Morrall/J.Kaye MARC II INV 2:09.6737 0:06.2307
34 24 Bostik Australia Geoff Emery Audi R8 – LMS GT3 SIL 2:10.9059 0:07.4629
35 95 MARC Cars Australia G.Taunton/B.Hall/W.Luff/B.Schumacher MARC II INV 2:11.9286 0:08.4856
36 9 Hallmarc M.Cini/D.Fiore/L.Holdsworth Audi R8 – LMS GT3 PAM 2:12.4808 0:09.0378
37 13 JET Battery Services D.Jorgensen/B.Strom/D.van Dongen BMW M4 GT4 GT4 2:16.1060 0:12.6630
38 19 M.Griffith/H.Newey Mercedes AMG GT4 GT4 2:18.5892 0:15.1462

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