Van der Linde sets Friday pace at Bathurst 12 Hour

Kelvin van der Linde. Picture: Ross Gibb

Kelvin van der Linde has dominated the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour’s first ever night practice session.

Starting at 17:05 local time (AEST), the chequered flag didn’t wave until 17:50 by which time the sky was just about pitch black.

That came as five minutes was added to the 40-minute session after a red flag period due to debris at The Chase.

By the end, van der Linde (#74 Audi Sport Team Valvoline Audi R8 Evo II) was the only driver to dip into the 2:03s bracket, ending the session 0.3381s clear of the field.

The South African was quickest after the first tours of The Mountain on a 2:08.1310s, which he shaved two-and-a-half seconds from the next time around.

Jules Gounon put the #75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 on top just prior to the red flags being waved, at which point van der Linde was on a session-best lap.

Van der Linde and Gounon further traded times before the factory Audi star banged in the 2:03.9569s which would not be toppled.

That backed up the form shown by Brad Schumacher in the #74 during Practice 2 earlier in the day.

Chaz Mostert (#65 Coinspot Audi R8 Evo II) split the internationals to go second, and Gounon’s time would be bumped to fourth by a last-ditch effort from Maro Engel (#91 Craft-Bamboo Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3).

Markus Winkelhock (#777 Audi Sport Team Valvoline Audi R8 Evo II) rounded out the top five, and was the first of the drivers to be effectively locked in to starting Sunday’s race.

That’s on the basis of regulations whereby the driver starting in each car (at dark) must have completed at least two laps during Practice 4.

Winkelhock was the only driver to steer the #777; others in that boat were Broc Feeney (#888 Triple Eight Race Engineering Mercedes-AMG GT3), Alex Davison (#222 Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia Porsche 991.2 GT3), and Keith Kassulke (#52 Wheels/ FX Racing PNG MARC II Mustang).

Feeney was a late starter to the session following Prince Jefri Ibrahim striking trouble during Practice 3.

In total, 19 cars took to the track with the crashed #47 Supabarn Audi absent.

Practice 5 will run from 08:05-09:05 AEST tomorrow.

Results: Practice 4

Pos # Team Driver Car Class Fastest lap Gap
1 74 Audi Sport Team Valvoline K.van der Linde/N.Berthon Audi R8 GT3 Evo II APA 2:03.9569
2 65 Coinspot C.Mostert/L.Talbot Audi R8 GT3 Evo II APA 2:04.2950 +0.3381
3 91 Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing M.Engel/D.Juncadella Mercedes AMG GT3 APA 2:04.3501 +0.3932
4 75 SunEnergy1 Racing L.Stolz/J.Gounon Mercedes AMG GT3 APA 2:04.4064 +0.4495
5 777 Audi Sport Team Valvoline Markus Winkelhock Audi R8 GT3 Evo II APA 2:04.9212 +0.9643
6 24 Tony Bates Racing D.Reynolds/T.Bates Audi R8 GT3 Evo II APA 2:05.2554 +1.2985
7 4 Grove Racing B.Barker/B.Grove Porsche 911 GT3R APA 2:05.4519 +1.4950
8 17 Team BRM N.Percat/J.Mawson Audi R8 GT3 Evo II APA 2:05.7521 +1.7952
9 888 Triple Eight Race Engineering Broc Feeney Mercedes AMG GT3 APA 2:05.8453 +1.8884
10 6 Wall Racing T.D’Alberto/D.Wall Lamborghini Huracan GT3 APA 2:06.6945 +2.7376
11 19 Nineteen Corporation Pty Ltd J.Perkins/W.Brown Mercedes AMG GT3 APA 2:06.7649 +2.8080
12 9 Hallmarc L.Holdsworth/D.Fiore Audi R8 GT3 Evo II APA 2:07.4046 +3.4477
13 45 RAM Motorsport G.Walden/B.Hobson Mercedes AMG GT3 AAM 2:08.0106 +4.0537
14 222 Scott Taylor Motorsport Alex Davison Porsche 991 GT3 Gen II C 2:08.5953 +4.6384
15 50 M Motorsport/ Vantage Racing G.Wood/D.Wood KTM X-Bow GT2 I 2:09.4189 +5.4620
16 55 Valmont Racing D.Padayachee/S.Pires Mercedes AMG GT3 AAM 2:09.4550 +5.4981
17 95 MARC Cars Australia G.Taunton/J.Camilleri MARC II V8 I 2:10.7275 +6.7706
18 52 Wheels/ FX Racing PNG Keith Kassulke MARC II V8 I 2:14.2927 +10.3358
19 11 Our Kloud-UpTo11 Motorsport I.Padayachee/E.Constantindis/A.Zerefos Porsche 991 GT3 Gen II C 2:21.5993 +17.6424

Join the discussion below in the comments section

Please note: reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]