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Factory Mercedes drivers hail Feeney’s Bathurst performance
Saturday 4th February, 2023 - 6:01pm
Factory Mercedes-AMG drivers Maro Engel and Maximilian Gotz have heaped praise on Broc Feeney after he qualified on the front row at the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
The Supercheap Auto/Triple Eight Race Engineering entry will start from second on the grid, alongside another Mercedes-AMG, from GruppeM Racing, after Feeney was sent out in Car #888 on Saturday afternoon at Mount Panorama.
The 20-year-old went and delivered a 2:01.0983s in the 15-minute ‘shootout’ which would have been a new qualifying lap record for a GT3 car if not for the fact that Engel managed to go 0.2164s faster.
Engel is a regular in Mercedes-AMG GT3 machinery, and he acknowledged what Feeney had achieved.
“Congrats to him; obviously a great qualifying,” said the German.
“I hate to think what he can do if he knows the car a bit better.”
Either of Gotz or Shane van Gisbergen, the other driver in the Supercheap Auto trio, might have been expected to qualify the car, and the former was impressed with what he saw from the Triple Eight garage.
“I was celebrating my birthday today and I was walking up this morning and I said ‘Okay, I turn 25; this guy is 20,’” joked Gotz, who is in fact 37 years old today.
“I couldn’t believe it that he’s just 20 but, in the end, it shows his great potential and his great talent. It’s outstanding.
“I think he did some races last year [in GT3] and it shows also from his last few races in Adelaide – bring the win home for Triple Eight [in the Supercars Championship] – shows his potential.”
Feeney has less than 10 GT World Challenge Australia rounds under his belt and, before last year, had not driven a GT3 car in the Bathurst 12 Hour.
Last November, however, he and Prince Jefri Ibrahim won the three-hour GT World Challenge race at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst International, before he became a Supercars Championship race winner just three weeks later in Adelaide in a breakthrough performance which Roland Dane likened to that of eventual seven-time champion Jamie Whincup.
“Obviously if you haven’t done too many races… I think I have four or five races in a GT car so, every time I drive it, I feel better and better,” said the Queenslander.
“Doing the 12 Hour and three-hour here last year certainly helped, so I was happy to give a couple more laps to Maxi and Shane earlier on in the weekend just so they can get comfortable again; I was only here a few months ago.
“For me, it’s been good. I gel really well with this car – I don’t know why – but it’s a dream to drive.
“I just enjoy it when I’m driving it – it’s a lot of fun – I’m having fun this weekend and you normally go fast when you do that.”
Race start is scheduled tomorrow for 05:45 local time/AEDT.
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