> Result: Practice 6
Audi Sport will head into qualifying as clear favourites for pole after completing a practice clean sweep at Bathurst this morning.
The factory-backed Team Valvoline squad made it six fastest times in as many sessions by topping the final hour of running ahead of combined qualifying, which will determine this evening’s Top-10 Pole Shootout contenders.
On this morning’s evidence at least, Kelvin van der Linde will be amongst the favourites to clinch the coveted Allan Simonsen Trophy.
His 2m03.2571s was a shade slower than Markus Winkelhock managed in FP5 early this morning but proved sufficiently fast to remain quickest thereafter.
Two early and brief red flag periods prevented any meaningful running until 15 minutes had elapsed. But when the track finally went green for a prolonged period it was Audi that made the early running.
Ricardo Feller was the first to set a representative time but his 2m03.7s was eclipsed next time around by team-mate Van der Linde whose follow-up would have been faster still without a so-so middle sector.
Cam Waters popped C Tech Laser’s Audi into second after lapping four tenths shy of the South African but was shuffled back to fourth by Jules Gounon (SunEnergy1 Mercedes-AMG) and Chaz Mostert (Coinspot Audi) in quick succession. The latter’s time was 0.2s down on Van der Linde’s best.
Feller, who finished fifth, was the last of the drivers to dip below 2m04s, while Shan van Gisbergen improved his time just before the final red flag flew with seconds remaining to consolidate Triple Eight’s sixth place.
The final stoppage was caused by Stephen Wall’s Porsche, which set the seventh fastest time but ended FP6 in the McPhillamy Park fence.
The two-part qualifying session, where the Am’s best time is combined with that of their Pro to determine the Top-10 Pole Shootout contenders, begins at 13:20 AEST (GMT +10). Watch it live on SRO’s GT World YouTube channel.