Van der Linde completes Audi practice cleansweep

Kelvin van der Linde. Picture: Ross Gibb

Audi Sport Team Valvoline led the way in the final practice session for the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour after an early flyer from Kelvin van der Linde.

There were two early red flags in the scheduled 60-minute session with some mishaps out on track in Practice 6.

However, a third and final red flag right as the session ended was more significant, with the #4 Grove Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R nestled against the wall at McPhillamy Park with Stephen Grove behind the wheel.

The first red came out almost immediately when the #45 RAM Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Brett Hobson stopped out on track.

Another stoppage came shortly after the action resumed when the #52 MARC II V8 of Hadrian Morrall had a spin at The Cutting.

Green flag action lasted longer the third time and the Audis were quick out of the box once again.

Van der Linde pipped fellow factory Audi star Ricardo Feller on a 2:03.257s to go to the top, which was unbeaten to the chequered flag.

Cameron Waters split the Audi Sport Team Valvoline entries to momentarily go second at the wheel of the #24 Audi he shares with David Reynolds and Tony Bates.

As 20 minutes remained Jules Gounon jumped up to second in the #75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 putting the Frenchman three tenths off the best Audi effort.

That was until Chaz Mostert went quicker on a 2:03.487s to take over second position aboard the #65 Coinspot Audi.

No major improvements were seen through to the end of the session, while Gounon’s effort left the SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes third.

Shan van Gisbergen brought the #888 Triple Eight Race Engineering Mercedes up to sixth in the closing stages.

Next up is Qualifying which begins at 13:20 local time/AEST.

This year’s qualifying format, which is aggregate-based, features two 25-minute sessions, the first for Bronze drivers and the second for all drivers.

Each car’s best times from the two seperate sessions will be added together, determining the positions from 11th onwards while the top 10 will progress to the Top 10 Shootout at 16:10 local time/AEST.

Results: Practice 6

Pos # Team Driver Car Class Fastest lap Gap
1 74 Audi Sport Team Valvoline K.van der Linde/N.Berthon/
B.Schumacher
Audi R8 GT3 Evo II APA 2:03.2571
2 65 Coinspot C.Mostert/F.Ross Audi R8 GT3 Evo II APA 2:03.4871 +0.2300
3 75 SunEnergy1 Racing L.Stolz/J.Gounon/K.Habul Mercedes AMG GT3 APA 2:03.5551 +0.2980
4 24 Tony Bates Racing C.Waters/D.Reynolds/T.Bates Audi R8 GT3 Evo II APA 2:03.6677 +0.4106
5 777 Audi Sport Team Valvoline R.Feller/Y.Shahin Audi R8 GT3 Evo II APA 2:03.7439 +0.4868
6 888 Triple Eight Race Engineering S.van Gisbergen/B.Feeney/
J.Ibrahim
Mercedes AMG GT3 APA 2:04.1436 +0.8865
7 6 Wall Racing T.D’Alberto/D.Wall Lamborghini Huracan GT3 APA 2:04.5094 +1.2523
8 4 Grove Racing B.Grove/S.Grove Porsche 911 GT3R APA 2:04.9748 +1.7177
9 9 Hallmarc L.Holdsworth/D.Fiore/M.Cini Audi R8 GT3 Evo II APA 2:05.2414 +1.9843
10 45 RAM Motorsport M.Sheargold/B.Hobson Mercedes AMG GT3 AAM 2:05.5930 +2.3359
11 55 Valmont Racing D.Padayachee/S.Pires/M.Zalloua Mercedes AMG GT3 AAM 2:05.6301 +2.3730
12 50 M Motorsport/ Vantage Racing D.Crampton/G.Wood/T.Harrison KTM X-Bow GT2 I 2:06.8759 +3.6188
13 19 Nineteen Corporation Pty Ltd J.Perkins/M.Griffith Mercedes AMG GT3 APA 2:07.0398 +3.7827
14 95 MARC Cars Australia G.Taunton/J.Camilleri/D.Fraser MARC II V8 I 2:07.0809 +3.8238
15 222 Scott Taylor Motorsport S.Taylor/A.Davison/G.Emery Porsche 991 GT3 Gen II C 2:09.1970 +5.9399
16 52 Wheels/ FX Racing PNG Hadrian Morrall MARC II V8 I 2:10.3355 +7.0784
17 11 Our Kloud-UpTo11 Motorsport I.Padayachee/E.Constantindis/
A.Zerefos
Porsche 991 GT3 Gen II C 2:15.9099 +12.6528

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