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Stolz fastest in final Bathurst 12 Hour practice
By Mat Coch
Saturday 4th February, 2023 - 12:26pm
A stunning late lap from Luca Stolz left the #75 SunEnergy1 Mercedes fastest in Practice 6 for the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
The German showed strong pace in the final moments, with his last-lap 2:02.4337s masking his true pace after a big lift in The Chase.
It left the Mercedes-AMG GT3 fastest by 0.1847s over the GruppeM entry driven by Raffaele Marciello as the chequered flag fell.
Chaz Mostert put the Pro-Am class #65 Audi R8 third best, though abandoned a lap at the end of the session that would potentially have seen him closer than 0.2250s off the outright pace.
Maximilian Gotz set the early pace for the #888 Supercheap Auto Mercedes-AMG GT3 with a 2:05.3061s, though that was bettered inside the opening 10 minutes by the Matt Campbell Porsche.
The Queensland managed a 2:02.7749s, a time which left him more than a second clear of the pack in the #912.
After 14 minutes, the red flag was thrown for a car that had stopped at just over Skyline.
Shane Woodman, who was at the wheel of the #66 Sin R1, had come to a stop following contact on the run in to Skyline – a wheel breaking free and rolling a considerable distance back down the Mountain.
The interruption lasted 10 minutes before the field was released once more.
During the stoppage, Thomas Preining climbed aboard the pace-setting #912 as a raft of teams up and down the lane opted to swap drivers.
Maro Engel moved 0.1860s off the ultimate pace in the #999 GruppeM car with just over 27 minutes remaining in the hour-long encounter.
The pace was improving, Christopher Haase promptly going fastest across the top of the Mountain only to peel the #74 Audi into the lane.
He sat third best as he made way for Mattia Drudi.
Engel then went fastest with a 2:02.6184s to edge ahead of the #912 by 0.1565s with 23 minutes remaining.
He then headed into the lane and swapped out for Mikael Grenier, while in the #912 was in the hands of Mathieu Jaminet.
The #55 Audi, which had been as high as sixth during the earlier stoppage, had slipped down the order with 40 minutes elapsed.
It sat 10th-best, the second-fastest Pro-Am effort, trailing the #4 Grove Racing effort which was ninth overall.
They both trailed Daniel Gaunt, who’d climbed aboard the #10 Silver class Audi R8 and gone eighth best.
With 12 minutes remaining, Broc Feeney banked a 2:02.7749s to rise to third overall, helped by a fresh set of tyres in the #888 car.
The #75 SunEnergy1 Mercedes also improved as green sectors became increasingly common on the timing screens.
Feeney was on for a faster lap still next time by, but aborted the lap by pitting to climb out of the car.
Inside the final 10 minutes, Mostert recorded a 2:03.1597s to jump to fifth-best, and the leading Pro-Am entry.
The Supercars 1000 winner went faster still, though a mistake exiting the final corner slowed his progress and left him 0.0403s off the outright pace.
Marciello had taken over the #999 car which remained at the top of the timing sheets.
With three minutes remaining, Mostert was pushing once more having taken a lap to cool down his tyres.
It proved 0.2s slower than his previous effort as the Pro-Am entry remained second-best.
He did, however, pick up the pace in the dying seconds of the session, while Stolz aboard the #75 Mercedes was setting purple sectors.
The German promptly went fastest, despite lifting early into The Chase, while Mostert took to the lane as he was bumped to third by Marciello.
Tony D’Alberto piloted the leading Silver class car, logging the eighth-best time of the session aboard the Lamborghini Huracan and the #19 Mercedes GT4 was the best of the Invitational entries.
Cars are next on track, with Qualifying 1, for Invitational, Silver, and Pro-Am runners, beginning at 12:45 local time/AEDT.
Results: Practice 6 All drivers
|1||75||Sun Energy 1||J.Gounon/L.Stolz||Mercedes Benz AMG GT||PRO||2:02.4337|
|2||999||GruppeM Racing||M.Engel/M.Grenier/R.Marciello||Mercedes-AMG GT3 EVO||PRO||2:02.6184||0:00.1847|
|3||65||Sportsbet Team MPC||C.Mostert/L.Talbot||Audi R8 LMS Evo 2||PAM||2:02.6587||0:00.2250|
|4||912||Manthey EMA||M.Campbell/M.Jaminet/T.Preining||Porsche GT3 R Spec 2||PRO||2:02.7749||0:00.3412|
|5||888||Supercheap Auto Racing||S.van Gisbergen/B.Feeney/M.Goetz||Mercedes Benz AMG GT||PRO||2:02.9307||0:00.4970|
|6||99||Boost Mobile Racing||R.Stanaway/J.Ibrahim||Mercedes Benz AMG GT||PAM||2:02.9448||0:00.5111|
|7||777||The Bend Motorsport Park / MPC||C.Mies/R.Feller/Y.Shahin||Audi R8 LMS Evo 2||PAM||2:03.1874||0:00.7537|
|8||6||Wall Racing||T.D’Alberto/G.Denyer||Lamborghini Huracan||SIL||2:03.3225||0:00.8888|
|9||74||The Bend Motorsport Park / MPC||C.Haase/P.Niederhauser/M.Drudi||Audi R8 LMS Evo 2||PRO||2:03.4456||0:01.0119|
|10||77||Mercedes-AMG Craft-Bamboo||D.Juncadella/P.Ellis/N.Catsburg||Mercedes-AMG GT3||PRO||2:03.5373||0:01.1036|
|11||55||FUCHS Lubricants Racing||J.Golding/F.Vervisch||Audi R8 LMS Evo 2||PAM||2:03.5981||0:01.1644|
|12||46||Team WRT||A.Farfus/M.Martin/V.Rossi||BMW M4GT3||PRO||2:03.8028||0:01.3691|
|13||222||Scott Taylor Motorsport||A.Davison/G.Emery||Mercedes Benz AMG GT||PAM||2:03.9509||0:01.5172|
|14||24||Tony Bates Racing /Makita||T.Bates/D.Reynolds||Mercedes-AMG GT3||PAM||2:03.9591||0:01.5254|
|15||10||MYLAND Team IMS||D.Gaunt/A.Fawcet/D.O’Keeffe||Audi R8 LMS Evo 2||SIL||2:03.9956||0:01.5619|
|16||32||Team WRT||S.van der Linde/C.Weerts||BMW M4GT3||PRO||2:04.0381||0:01.6044|
|17||4||Grove Racing||A.De Pasquale/S.Grove||Porsche 911 GT3R||PAM||2:04.0708||0:01.6371|
|18||44||Valmont Racing||M.Zalloua/D.Padayachee||Mercedes Benz AMG GT||SIL||2:05.2830||0:02.8493|
|19||9||Hallmarc Team MPC||D.Fiore/M.Cini||Audi R8 LMS Evo 2||PAM||2:05.7995||0:03.3658|
|20||47||Supabarn Team MPC||J.Webb/J.Koundouris||Audi R8 LMS Evo 2||SIL||2:05.8285||0:03.3948|
|21||101||Harrolds Volante Rosso M’Sport||J.Hunt/K.Tse||Mercedes Benz AMG GT||SIL||2:06.4292||0:03.9955|
|22||50||MMotorsport /Vantage Racing||T.Harrison/G.Wood||Audi R8 LMS Evo 2||SIL||2:09.0810||0:06.6473|
|23||19||Nineteen Corporation||C.Pancione/F.Schiller/M.Griffith||Mercedes Benz||INV||2:13.4480||0:11.0143|
|24||111||111Racing/MRA Motorsport||G.Taunton/G.Donaldson||MARC I Mazda||INV||2:13.5096||0:11.0759|
|25||66||Daytona Sports Cars||Shane Woodman||SIN R1||INV||2:18.3431||0:15.9094|
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