Winkelhock blitzes crash-marred penultimate practice at B12H

The #777 Audi. Picture: Ross Gibb

Markus Winkelhock has led the way in Practice 5 for the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour as another three cars encountered trouble.

Making his eighth start in the Mount Panorama event, Winkelhock put more than half a second on the field with the fastest time of the weekend.

His 2:03.1336s in fact was the best Bathurst 12 Hour lap time recorded since the 2019 event, when Raffaele Marciello put GruppeM on pole with a 2:02.9348s during the Top 10 Shootout that year.

While it was smooth sailing for the #777 Audi Sport Team Valvoline entry, in which Practice 1 pacesetter Ricardo Feller also got seat time, it wasn’t so positive for various others.

The high-profile Craft-Bamboo Racing Mercedes didn’t turn a lap due to an engine change being required, while the #47 Supabarn team was also absent as the Melbourne Performance Centre crew continues to upgrade its spare Audi to Evo II specification.

There were two red flags during the hour-long session, the first of which coming at 22-minute mark after Hadrian Morrall found the wall, reportedly at The Dipper.

Morrall did manage to bring his #52 MARC II Mustang back to the pits, sporting left-rear damage, but it would take no further part in the session.

A second red flag brought an early end to proceedings when Mark Rosser came unstuck at the top of The Mountain.

Sharing the #17 Audi R8 Evo II with Nick Percat and Joey Mawson, Rosser was not able to carry on and remained stranded on track.

In the end, it was Ben Barker (#4 Porsche) who wound up as Winkelhock’s nearest threat, on a 2:03.6543s which kept him fractionally ahead of Jules Gounon (#75 Mercedes) in third.

David Reynolds (#24 Audi) was the only other driver into the 2:03s, having set that time early on in the piece on his sixth flying lap, just as Winkelhock had done.

Final practice begins at 10:00 AEST before the field gets stuck into qualifying.

Results: Practice 5

Pos # Team Driver Car Class Fastest lap Gap
1 777 Audi Sport Team Valvoline M.Winkelhock/R.Feller Audi R8 GT3 Evo II APA 2:03.1336
2 4 Grove Racing B.Barker/B.Grove Porsche 911 GT3R APA 2:03.6543 +0.5207
3 75 SunEnergy1 Racing L.Stolz/J.Gounon/M.Konrad Mercedes AMG GT3 APA 2:03.6695 +0.5359
4 24 Tony Bates Racing D.Reynolds/T.Bates Audi R8 GT3 Evo II APA 2:03.9725 +0.8389
5 888 Triple Eight Race Engineering S.van Gisbergen/B.Feeney/J.Ibrahim Mercedes AMG GT3 APA 2:04.3615 +1.2279
6 65 Coinspot F.Ross/L.Talbot Audi R8 GT3 Evo II APA 2:04.6172 +1.4836
7 19 Nineteen Corporation Pty Ltd J.Perkins/W.Brown Mercedes AMG GT3 APA 2:04.6665 +1.5329
8 74 Audi Sport Team Valvoline Nathanael Berthon Audi R8 GT3 Evo II APA 2:04.8160 +1.6824
9 55 Valmont Racing D.Padayachee/S.Pires/M.Zalloua Mercedes AMG GT3 AAM 2:06.3421 +3.2085
10 95 MARC Cars Australia J.Camilleri/D.Fraser MARC II V8 I 2:06.4554 +3.3218
11 9 Hallmarc D.Fiore/M.Cini Audi R8 GT3 Evo II APA 2:06.5041 +3.3705
12 17 Team BRM Mark Rosser Audi R8 GT3 Evo II APA 2:07.3550 +4.2214
13 45 RAM Motorsport M.Sheargold/G.Walden Mercedes AMG GT3 AAM 2:08.6073 +5.4737
14 50 M Motorsport/ Vantage Racing D.Crampton/T.Harrison KTM X-Bow GT2 I 2:09.3731 +6.2395
15 222 Scott Taylor Motorsport S.Taylor/C.Lowndes/G.Emery Porsche 991 GT3 Gen II C 2:09.7832 +6.6496
16 6 Wall Racing A.Deitz/G.Denyer Lamborghini Huracan GT3 APA 2:11.6225 +8.4889
17 11 Our Kloud-UpTo11 Motorsport I.Padayachee/E.Constantindis/A.Zerefos Porsche 991 GT3 Gen II C 2:17.4822 +14.3486
18 52 Wheels/ FX Racing PNG Hadrian Morrall MARC II V8 I 2:22.2773 +19.1437

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