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Bathurst: Rossi leads Schumacher in second practice

Bathurst: Rossi leads Schumacher in second practice

> Result: Practice 2

Mount Panorama debutant Valentino Rossi made the perfect start to his LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour weekend by beating Brad Schumacher to fastest time in the second 40-minute practice session.

Team WRT’s #46 BMW set its best time – 2m05.4486s – on the final lap to pinch top spot from the Fuchs Lubricants Audi, which had only just beaten the Italian’s previous benchmark.

It was the MotoGP legend’s first time in the car after he’d sat out the opening session. Practice two and three are typically reserved for Bronze drivers but some Silvers, such as debutants like Rossi, are permitted special dispensation to also take part.

Kenny Habul led at half-distance before slipping behind the BMW and Audi. Nevertheless, last year’s winner still ended up as the best placed Mercedes-AMG runner in third, albeit seven tenths down on the fastest time.

Two red flag periods briefly punctuated the session. The first was caused by the spinning Marc Cars entry that became stranded on the run towards The Cutting before the same section of race track accounted for Marc Cini’s Hallmarc Audi, which limped back to the pits with significant front-end damage.

Two Audis completed the top-five. Liam Talbot, whose co-driver Chaz Mostert set the FP1 pace, just beat Yasser Shahin to fourth, while Jefri Ibrahim completed the first half-dozen in Boost Mobile’s Mercedes-AMG.

The battle for IGTC Independent Cup bragging rights was won by Stephen Grove who finished three tenths clear of the Harrolds Volante Rosso Motorsport Mercedes-AMG that features Jonathan Hui.

FP3 begins at 14:00 AEDT (GMT +11).