GruppeM takes provisional pole with lap-record pace

The #999 GruppeM Racing Mercedes-AMG

The #999 GruppeM Racing Mercedes-AMG

GruppeM Racing has provisional pole position for the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour after Maro Engel set a new practice lap record in the #999 Mercedes-AMG in Qualifying – Part 2.

Engel got as close to a two-minute-flat as anyone ever has at the Bathurst 12 Hour when he set a 2:01.0536s around Mount Panorama, early in the 40-minute session.

Between that and Raffaele Marciello’s 2:01.5130s in the bright yellow Mercedes-AMG when he jumped in for the latter half of the session, it was enough for GruppeM to achieve the fastest aggregate time and thus go into the top 50 percent of this afternoon’s session which will finalise the starting grid.

CLICK HERE for the (unofficial) list of starters for this afternoon’s Top Ten Shootout

With the Pro cars brought into the process for Q2, the big guns were let loose, although two drivers were required to set a lap time in those cars in the top class.

Richie Stanaway was quickest initially with a 2:04.3717s in the #99 Triple Eight Race Engineering but as tyres came up to optimal temperature, Engel turned the wick up in another of the Mercedes-AMGs in the field.

The German set a 2:01.7072s on his second flyer and then broke the practice/qualifying lap record with a 2:01.0536s next time through in the #999 GruppeM entry.

Sheldon van der Linde had, by then, clocked a 2:01.7072s in the #32 Team WRT BMW and Chaz Mostert moved to third on the timing screen with a 2:01.9659s in the #65 Melbourne Performance Centre Audi.

Matt Campbell was still more than half a second in arrears when he achieved a 2:01.6146s to go second in the 15th minute of the session in the #912 Manthey EMA Porsche.

Mostert, being in a Pro-Am car, remained in the #65 Audi as the Pro class entries started to switch drivers around the halfway mark of the session.

The two-time Bathurst 12 Hour pole-sitter was fastest to Sector 2 at the start of his second run but caught up to Daniel Gaunt at The Chase and appeared to be hampered by the dirty air being thrown by the sister #10 Audi as he failed to improve his time.

After Jules Gounon set a 2:01.7452s when he started the session in the #75 SunEnergy1 Mercedes-AMG, Lucas Stolz jumped into the cockpit and set back-to-back 2:01.5705s, 2:01.4154s, and 2:01.3210s times.

In the 33rd minute, Broc Feeney put the Supercheap Auto-backed #888 Triple Eight Mercedes-AMG into third on the timing screen with a 2:01.4773s and then a 2:01.4359s, faster than Maximilian Gotz’s 2:02.0471s earlier in the session.

Mostert continued to rag the #65 Audi, setting a 2:01.9462s before catching a big moment at Skyline on his way to a 2:01.7353s on the following lap which put him into sixth.

Then, just before the chequered flag, he set yet another fastest second sector and moved up to fourth on a 2:01.5647s, despite being let down by his R8 LMS GT3 evo II’s speed down Conrod Straight.

The top 10 for the session was thus the #999 GruppeM Mercedes-AMG, the #75 SunEnergy1 Mercedes-AMG, the #888 Triple Eight Mercedes-AMG, the #65 MPC Audi, the #912 Manthey EMA Porsche, the #32 WRT BMW, the #99 Triple Eight Mercedes-AMG, the #55 Schumacher Audi, the #46 WRT BMW, and the #777 MPC Audi.

Final qualifying, officially a Top Ten Shootout, gets underway at 16:10 local time/AEDT.

Results: Qualifying – Part 2 Individual drivers

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver Car Cls Fastest lap Split
1 999 GruppeM Racing Maro Engel Mercedes-AMG GT3 EVO PRO 2:01.0536
2 75 Sun Energy 1 Luca Stolz Mercedes Benz AMG GT PRO 2:01.3210 0:00.2674
3 888 Supercheap Auto Racing Broc Feeney Mercedes Benz AMG GT PRO 2:01.4359 0:00.3823
4 999 GruppeM Racing Raffaele Marciello Mercedes-AMG GT3 EVO PRO 2:01.5130 0:00.4594
5 65 Sportsbet Team MPC Chaz Mostert Audi R8 LMS Evo 2 PAM 2:01.5647 0:00.5111
6 912 Manthey EMA Matt Campbell Porsche GT3 R Spec 2 PRO 2:01.6146 0:00.5610
7 32 Team WRT S van der Linde BMW M4GT3 PRO 2:01.7072 0:00.6536
8 75 Sun Energy 1 Jules Gounon Mercedes Benz AMG GT PRO 2:01.7452 0:00.6916
9 99 Boost Mobile Racing Richie Stanaway Mercedes Benz AMG GT PAM 2:01.8933 0:00.8397
10 55 FUCHS Lubricants Racing Frederic Vervisch Audi R8 LMS Evo 2 PAM 2:02.0265 0:00.9729
11 888 Supercheap Auto Racing Maximillian Goetz Mercedes Benz AMG GT PRO 2:02.0471 0:00.9935
12 46 Team WRT Augusto Farfus BMW M4GT3 PRO 2:02.1258 0:01.0722
13 46 Team WRT Maxime Martin BMW M4GT3 PRO 2:02.3308 0:01.2772
14 32 Team WRT Dries Vanthoor BMW M4GT3 PRO 2:02.4081 0:01.3545
15 777 The Bend Motorsport Park / MPC Ricardo Feller Audi R8 LMS Evo 2 PAM 2:02.4323 0:01.3787
16 912 Manthey EMA Mathieu Jaminet Porsche GT3 R Spec 2 PRO 2:02.4647 0:01.4111
17 77 Mercedes-AMG Craft-Bamboo Nicky Catsburg Mercedes-AMG GT3 PRO 2:02.5738 0:01.5202
18 74 The Bend Motorsport Park / MPC Mattia Drudi Audi R8 LMS Evo 2 PRO 2:02.6417 0:01.5881
19 6 Wall Racing Tony D’Alberto Lamborghini Huracan SIL 2:02.7131 0:01.6595
20 74 The Bend Motorsport Park / MPC Christopher Haase Audi R8 LMS Evo 2 PRO 2:02.7621 0:01.7085
21 77 Mercedes-AMG Craft-Bamboo Daniel Juncadella Mercedes-AMG GT3 PRO 2:02.9423 0:01.8887
22 44 Valmont Racing Duvashen Padayachee Mercedes Benz AMG GT SIL 2:03.0143 0:01.9607
23 47 Supabarn Team MPC David Russell Audi R8 LMS Evo 2 SIL 2:03.0624 0:02.0088
24 4 Grove Racing Anton De Pasquale Porsche  911 GT3R PAM 2:03.1355 0:02.0819
25 222 Scott Taylor Motorsport Alex Davison Mercedes Benz AMG GT PAM 2:03.1530 0:02.0994
26 9 Hallmarc Team MPC Lee Holdsworth Audi R8 LMS Evo 2 PAM 2:03.2004 0:02.1468
27 24 Tony Bates Racing /Makita Jordan Love Mercedes-AMG GT3 PAM 2:03.2028 0:02.1492
28 777 The Bend Motorsport Park / MPC Chris Mies Audi R8 LMS Evo 2 PAM 2:03.7293 0:02.6757
29 10 MYLAND Team IMS Daniel Gaunt Audi R8 LMS Evo 2 SIL 2:03.7741 0:02.7205
30 50 MMotorsport /Vantage Racing Glen Wood Audi R8 LMS Evo 2 SIL 2:03.7782 0:02.7246
31 24 Tony Bates Racing /Makita David Reynolds Mercedes-AMG GT3 PAM 2:04.4174 0:03.3638
32 101 Harrolds Volante Rosso M’Sport Josh Hunt Mercedes Benz AMG GT SIL 2:04.5395 0:03.4859
33 101 Harrolds Volante Rosso M’Sport Ross Poulakis Mercedes Benz AMG GT SIL 2:09.4853 0:08.4317
34 19 Nineteen Corporation Christan Pancione Mercedes Benz INV 2:12.5411 0:11.4875

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