> Result: FP4
Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing’s Raffaele Marciello made it two fastest times in three practice sessions at Bathurst this afternoon after posting the day’s quickest lap in FP4.
With Gold and Platinum-graded drivers ineligible to contest the morning’s first session, Marciello had to wait until FP2 before making his mark. And the Italian ensured it was no fluke by lowering the benchmark once again to 2m03.5882s in the day’s final hour-long session.
Kelvin van der Linde’s final effort helped Audi Sport Team Valvoline jump up to second in the dying moments after lapping just 0.04s slower than Marciello, which also pushed BMW Team Schnitzer’s M6 driven by Augusto Farfus down to third.
Ferrari, another full-season Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli entry, ensured the top-four was populated by as many different manufacturers thanks to HubAuto Corsa’s Nick Foster who finished four tenths shy of top-spot, while Team Craft-Bamboo Black Falcon’s Mercedes-AMG completed the top-five.
Vincent Abril’s Bentley stopped on track just before the chequered flag flew but had already done enough to finish sixth ahead of R Motorsport’s Aston Martin and the second Audi Sport Team Valvoline R8 LMS GT3.
Elsewhere, two Intercontinental GT Challenge entries will play no further part this weekend after suffering separate accidents this morning. The Melbourne Performance Center Audi shared by Matt Neal, Gordon Shedden and Pete Storey crashed with the latter at the wheel in FP1 , while Tim Pappas’ heavy impact at The Chase also forced Black Swan Racing’s Porsche to be withdrawn.
This weekend’s fifth and final practice sessions begins at 08:35 (GMT +11) tomorrow.