Swiss young gun tops opening practice at Bathurst 12 Hour
Friday 13th May, 2022 - 10:46am
Ricardo Feller has put Audi on top in the first Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour session in more than two years.
The 21-year-old Swiss star was the fastest out of the blocks as well as at the end of the half-hour Practice 1 in a promising start for the #777 entry, which he is sharing with Markus Winkelhock and Yasser Shahin.
On his Mount Panorama debut, Feller wound up atop the timesheets with a 2:04.5150s set after the chequered flag, to dispatch 2020 winner Jules Gounon (#75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes).
In a late change to the schedule, Practice 1 was switched to an all-in affair, with Practice 2 (starting 10:45 AEST) now reserved for Bronze drivers only.
Greeted with a semi-wet track following some early morning rain, Feller went to the top on the first flying runs with a relatively pedestrian 2:16.2621s.
Lap times tumbled with every passing lap as conditions improved, with Ben Barker (#4 Grove Racing Porsche GTR 3), David Wall (#6 Wall Racing Lamborghini Huracan), and Luca Stolz (#75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes) spending time at the top.
By the seventh time around The Mountain, Feller had lowered the benchmark to a 2:04.9082s, which remained intact until the dying stages.
Tony D’Alberto put the #6 Huracan up to fourth, and then second, in a strong showing before the international contingent geared up for one last crack.
Gounon, who had taken from Stolz, had threatened to improve on numerous occasions before coming good with a final effort of 2:04.9079s to go to the top by a mere 0.0003s.
However, Feller was not done yet, lobbing in a lap which would give him the ascendancy to the tune of four tenths.
D’Alberto’s 2:05.1804s remained good enough for third, ahead of Cameron Waters (#24 C Tech Laser Audi R8 EVO II) and David Russell (#47 Supabarn Audi R8 EVO II).
Shane van Gisbergen was seventh in the #888 Mercedes AMG GT3, as all 20 cars hit the track.
Results: Practice 1
|1||777||Audi Sport Team Valvoline||Ricardo Feller||Audi R8 GT3 Evo II||APA||2:04.5150|
|2||75||SunEnergy1 Racing||L.Stolz/J.Gounon||Mercedes AMG GT3||APA||2:04.9079||+0.3929|
|3||6||Wall Racing||T.D’Alberto/D.Wall||Lamborghini Huracan GT3||APA||2:05.1804||+0.6654|
|4||24||Tony Bates Racing||Cameron Waters||Audi R8 GT3 Evo II||APA||2:05.1962||+0.6812|
|5||47||Supabarn||David Russell||Audi R8 GT3 Evo II||AAM||2:05.2990||+0.7840|
|6||65||Coinspot||Fraser Ross||Audi R8 GT3 Evo II||APA||2:05.4383||+0.9233|
|7||888||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Shane van Gisbergen||Mercedes AMG GT3||APA||2:05.4575||+0.9425|
|8||91||Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing||M.Engel/D.Juncadella||Mercedes AMG GT3||APA||2:05.7827||+1.2677|
|9||17||Team BRM||Joey Mawson||Audi R8 GT3 Evo II||APA||2:05.8941||+1.3791|
|10||74||Audi Sport Team Valvoline||Nathanael Berthon||Audi R8 GT3 Evo II||APA||2:06.4302||+1.9152|
|11||4||Grove Racing||B.Barker/S.Grove||Porsche 911 GT3R||APA||2:06.4858||+1.9708|
|12||55||Valmont Racing||Duvashen Padayachee||Mercedes AMG GT3||AAM||2:06.9362||+2.4212|
|13||50||M Motorsport/ Vantage Racing||Dale Wood||KTM X-Bow GT2||I||2:06.9561||+2.4411|
|14||19||Nineteen Corporation Pty Ltd||Will Brown||Mercedes AMG GT3||APA||2:07.5455||+3.0305|
|15||9||Hallmarc||L.Holdsworth/D.Fiore||Audi R8 GT3 Evo II||APA||2:07.9238||+0.4088|
|16||222||Scott Taylor Motorsport||Craig Lowndes||Porsche 991 GT3 Gen II||C||2:09.0624||+4.5474|
|17||95||MARC Cars Australia||Geoffrey Taunton||MARC II V8||I||2:10.4323||+5.9173|
|18||45||RAM Motorsport||G.Walden/B.Hobson||Mercedes AMG GT3||AAM||2:11.6765||+7.1615|
|19||52||Wheels/ FX Racing PNG||K.Kassulke/H.Morrall||MARC II V8||I||2:15.6805||+11.1655|
|20||11||Our Kloud-UpTo11 Motorsport||Eric Constantindis||Porsche 991 GT3 Gen II||C||2:21.5406||+17.0256|
Results to follow