> Results: Free Practice 1 & 2
Ricardo Feller topped opening practice for this year’s LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour as the sun finally shone over Mount Panorama.
Although damp under foot, the persistent rain that blighted Thursday’s Town to Track parade was replaced with blue skies and bright sunshine as cars hit the track for the first time this season.
And it was Audi Sport Team Valvoline’s Feller who hit the ground running by setting fastest time at the end of the initial 30-minute session before Bronze-graded drivers immediately took over for the second half.
The Swiss driver’s 2m04.5150s was some three seconds shy of expected dry qualifying pace – a result, perhaps, of the sub-optimal conditions – but 0.4s faster than SunEnergy1’s Mercedes-AMG driven by Jules Gounon.
Tony D’Alberto also made the most of improving conditions to lap third fastest on the Wall Racing Lamborghini’s final run, while Cam Waters went fourth in C Tech Laser’s Audi.
With the Ams replacing Pros FP2 was unlikely to be faster than the first session, despite track conditions continuing to evolve. And so it proved.
Nevertheless, it was another Team Valvoline Audi that set the pace courtesy of Brad Schumacher who beat team-mate Yasser Shahin by 0.2s. The session’s best – a 2m06.5805s – was two seconds shy of Feller’s earlier benchmark.
Any late improvements were tempered by a red flag caused by the Invitational class KTM, which came to a halt at The Chase.
FP3, which is again reserved for Bronze-graded drivers, gets underway at 15:15 AEST. That’s followed by night practice, which begins just before the sun sets at 17:05.