Triple Eight Lock Out Practice Results At Scorching Mt Panorama

Fastest in practice Shane van Gisbergen
Fastest in practice Shane van Gisbergen

TRIPLE EIGHT Racing has delivered a one-two punch in practice ahead of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour this weekend at Mount Panorama.

The Aussie team finished 1-2 after four sessions on the Mountain today to show their true form ahead of qualifying tomorrow and Sunday’s around-the-clock enduro.

Supercars champion and former 12-hour winner Shane van Gisbergen set the fastest time of the day in his Mercedes AMG GT3, to be shared this weekend by Supercars teammate Jamie Whincup, and German ace Maximilian Goetz.

Teammate for the weekend, Anton de Pasquale, followed closely behind to give the Aussie team a lockout at the top of an ultra-competitive field after the first day of on-track action on the Mountain.

The 2016 Bathurst 12 Hour champion a quickest time of 2:03.9649 in the final practice session to top a competitive day of practice – staged in scorching 35-degree temperatures.

Van Gisbergen said both cars attempted a qualifying simulation late in the day, electing to show their potential early in the weekend.

“The car is awesome. Our two cars were up the front on low fuel and new tires – other teams won’t be doing that. It feels good for now and we’ve got a good handle on what the car is doing.

“It’s a very different style to how the Europeans do it; they will be hanging out to qualy."

Anton de Pasquale was second fastest in The Bend Motorsport Park’s entry – also prepared by Triple Eight.

Borrowed by the team from regular Supercars rivals Erebus Motorsport, de Pasquale was another to star in the final session and will share his The Bend Motorsport Park Mercedes AMG with Nick Foster and Adelaide brothers, Sam and Yasser Shahin.

He was only 0.2 seconds behind his Supercars rival, while South African star Kelvin van der Linde was third in the first Audi entry. In the scorching conditions, non-turbo cars dominated proceedings with Mercedes-AMG, Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini entries filling the top-10 positions in practice.

Supercars legend Craig Lowndes was eleventh overall aboard the Porsche he shares with Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor.

Shane says his rivals are sandbagging
Shane says his rivals are sandbagging

Friday saw 12-Hour competitors tackle four practice sessions to set the tone for the weekend ahead, the usual Bathurst drama a constant throughout a scorching day.

Practice one pacesetter Josh Burdon was impressive early, however on a dirty circuit the young Tasmanian crashed his KCMG Nissan GTR at Reid Park late in the session.

The damage was so severe that the entry, to be been shared by Japanese aces Tsugio Matsuda and 2015 winner Katsumasa Chiyo, was later withdrawn from the event having been judged unrepairable. The field now stands at 38 cars following the Nissan’s withdrawal.

One of last year’s standout drivers, Swiss pilot Raffaele Marciello, lifted the #999 Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing up to the top spot in Practice Two as he lapped the Mount Panorama circuit in 2:04.7819, almost two seconds than Burdon’s practice one time.

Initially running as the fastest car on track, the #77 Craft Bamboo Black Falcon entry of Maro Engel found itself in the wall after Griffin’s Bend late in the session, giving the team a big job to repair the Mercedes AMG GT3 – though it would later return to the circuit competitively following successful repairs.

Bathurst winner David Reynolds elevated the #75 SunEnergy1 entry to the top of the order late in the third practice session thanks to a 2:04.9312s effort – the repaired Engel AMG second and just two-tenths down.

The final session of the day saw slightly cooler track conditions and the fastest times of the day as drivers tackled something of a qualifying simulation at the very end of the session.

The battle was ultimately won by van Gisbergen: The Kiwi becoming the first and only driver to lap beneath the 2m04-second barrier today. Having topped the charts for much of the session, de Pasquale finished the day second to his teammate.

A final one-hour practice session will see the field on track at 8:45am on Saturday morning prior to a two-part qualifying session.

Practice resumes at 8:45am tomorrow morning before qualifying begins at 12:40pm, followed by two more sessions to determine the grid for Sunday’s race.

Results: Practice 4

Pos Num Driver(s) Car Cls Time
1 888 S.van Gisbergen/J.Whincup/M.Goetz Mercedes AMG GT3 PRO 2:03.9649
2 777 A.De Pasquale/S.Shahin Mercedes AMG GT3 PAM 2:04.1684
3 222 K.van der Linde/M.Drudi/M.Winkelhock Audi R8 – LMS GT3 PRO 2:04.4776
4 22 C.Mies/M.Bortolotti Audi R8 – LMS GT3 PRO 2:04.8091
5 999 F.Fraga/M.Buhk/R.Marciello Mercedes AMG GT3 PRO 2:04.9404
6 4 S.Grove/B.Barker Porsche GT3 R PAM 2:05.0264
7 2 D.Vanthoor/F.Vervisch Audi R8 – LMS GT3 PRO 2:05.0394
8 63 A.Caldarelli/M.Mapelli/D.Lind Lamborghini Huracan PRO 2:05.0737
9 77 L.Stolz/Y.Buurman Mercedes AMG GT3 PRO 2:05.3216
10 1 L.Vanthoor/C.Lowndes Porsche GT3 R PRO 2:05.4330
11 76 J.Dennis/R.Kelly/S.Dixon Aston Martin Vantage PRO 2:05.5601
12 27 M.Gomes/D.Serra Ferrari 488 GT3 PRO 2:05.5747
13 30 D.Cameron/R.van der Zande/M.Farnbacher Acura/ Honda NSX GT3 PRO 2:05.6290
14 9 M.Cini/L.Holdsworth Audi R8 – LMS GT3 PAM 2:05.7606
15 912 D.Werner/M.Cairoli/T.Preining Porsche GT3 R PRO 2:05.7713
16 18 Edoardo Liberati Nissan GTR Nismo GT PRO 2:05.9436
17 911 M.Jaminet/P.Pilet/M.Campbell Porsche GT3 R PRO 2:06.0299
18 6 A.Deitz/C.McConville Lamborghini Huracan SIL 2:06.0336
19 75 K.Habul/D.Baumann Mercedes AMG GT3 PAM 2:06.0643
20 91 A.Cameron/N.Percat MARC II INV 2:06.4094
21 34 N.Catsburg/C.Mostert BMW M6 GT3 PRO 2:06.5313
22 159 A.Watson/O.Hart/R.De Angelis Aston Martin Vantage SIL 2:06.7143
23 59 D.Storey/F.Ross/M.Kodric McLaren 720S GT3 SIL 2:06.7730
24 12 D.Calvert-Jones/J.Evans Porsche GT3 R PAM 2:06.8639
25 188 C.Goodwin/C.Ledogar Aston Martin Vantage PAM 2:07.6203
26 92 T.Everingham/J.Kaye MARC II INV 2:08.3677
27 62 L.Ghiotto/O.Caldwell Aston Martin Vantage PRO 2:08.5297
28 46 Sergei Afanasiev Mercedes AMG GT3 SIL 2:08.9544
29 95 B.Hall/W.Luff/B.Schumacher MARC II INV 2:09.0048
30 24 T.Bates/G.Emery/M.Twigg Audi R8 – LMS GT3 SIL 2:09.0226
31 29 M.Zalloua/G.Denyer Lamborghini Huracan SIL 2:10.7244
32 96 Brett Hobson Nissan GT-R NISMO GT SIL 2:13.1283
33 19 D.Muller/H.Newey Mercedes AMG GT4 GT4 2:16.6084
34 13 D.Jorgensen/D.van Dongen BMW M4 GT4 GT4 2:19.6386
20 Cedric Sbirrazzuoli MARC II INV

Results: Practice 3

Pos Num Driver(s) Car Cls Time
1 75 K.Habul/M.Konrad/D.Reynolds Mercedes AMG GT3 PAM 2:04.9312
2 77 M.Engel/L.Stolz/Y.Buurman Mercedes AMG GT3 PRO 2:05.1670
3 18 J.De Oliveira/A.Imperatori Nissan GTR Nismo GT PRO 2:05.2972
4 999 F.Fraga/M.Buhk/R.Marciello Mercedes AMG GT3 PRO 2:05.4443
5 888 S.van Gisbergen/J.Whincup Mercedes AMG GT3 PRO 2:05.5137
6 1 E.Bamber/C.Lowndes Porsche GT3 R PRO 2:05.7588
7 911 M.Jaminet/P.Pilet/M.Campbell Porsche GT3 R PRO 2:05.7764
8 22 G.Tander/M.Bortolotti Audi R8 – LMS GT3 PRO 2:05.8558
9 912 D.Werner/M.Cairoli/T.Preining Porsche GT3 R PRO 2:05.8768
10 2 C.Haase/F.Vervisch Audi R8 – LMS GT3 PRO 2:05.8899
11 27 T.Slade/D.Serra Ferrari 488 GT3 PRO 2:05.9101
12 777 Y.Shahin/N.Foster/A.De Pasquale Mercedes AMG GT3 PAM 2:05.9630
13 46 P.Assenheimer/S.Afanasiev/M.Beretta Mercedes AMG GT3 SIL 2:06.0647
14 7 Jules Gounon Bentley Continental PRO 2:06.1753
15 12 D.Calvert-Jones/R.Dumas Porsche GT3 R PAM 2:06.1785
16 222 M.Drudi/M.Winkelhock Audi R8 – LMS GT3 PRO 2:06.3312
17 63 A.Caldarelli/D.Lind Lamborghini Huracan PRO 2:06.5502
18 8 Alex Buncombe Bentley Continental PRO 2:06.7135
19 59 D.Storey/F.Ross McLaren 720S GT3 SIL 2:06.8522
20 60 A.Parente/T.Blomqvist McLaren 720S GT3 PRO 2:07.1790
21 30 D.Cameron/R.van der Zande/M.Farnbacher Acura/ Honda NSX GT3 PRO 2:07.3236
22 34 A.Farfus/C.Mostert BMW M6 GT3 PRO 2:07.3557
23 4 Stephen Grove Porsche GT3 R PAM 2:07.3599
24 9 M.Cini/D.Fiore Audi R8 – LMS GT3 PAM 2:07.7590
25 29 L.Talbot/M.Zalloua Lamborghini Huracan SIL 2:07.7736
26 76 J.Dennis/R.Kelly/S.Dixon Aston Martin Vantage PRO 2:07.9174
27 188 A.West/M.Martin Aston Martin Vantage PAM 2:08.2901
28 20 A.Hargraves/D.Jilesen/S.Owen MARC II INV 2:08.5237
29 91 A.Cameron/B.Feeney MARC II INV 2:08.5454
30 62 L.Ghiotto/O.Caldwell Aston Martin Vantage PRO 2:08.7662
31 6 A.Deitz/J.Westwood Lamborghini Huracan SIL 2:08.9067
32 159 A.Watson/O.Hart/R.De Angelis Aston Martin Vantage SIL 2:08.9970
33 95 G.Taunton/B.Hall/B.Schumacher MARC II INV 2:10.5810
34 24 T.Bates/G.Emery/M.Twigg Audi R8 – LMS GT3 SIL 2:10.9413
35 92 H.Morrall/J.Kaye MARC II INV 2:11.2913
36 96 K.Kostecki/G.Walden Nissan GT-R NISMO GT SIL 2:11.7069
37 13 D.Jorgensen/B.Strom BMW M4 GT4 GT4 2:18.3848
38 19 M.Griffith/H.Newey Mercedes AMG GT4 GT4 2:20.8805

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