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Bathurst: Grello breaks MPC stranglehold in third practice

Bathurst: Grello breaks MPC stranglehold in third practice

> Result: Practice 3

The #912 Manthey EMA Porsche was fastest in Practice 3 at the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour, but not without a heart-in-mouth moment.

Laurens Vanthoor wheeled the #912 Porsche to top spot with a 2:03.6897s, set early in the 40-minute session.

Vanthoor, also sharing with 2019 winner Matt Campbell, handed over to Ayhancan Güven for the second half of the session.

With 10 minutes remaining, Güven had a big slide at the Cutting and narrowly missed the wall, sparing the Manthey EMA squad unexpected repairs.

All told, Güven remained behind the wheel when the chequered flag flew, with Mikael Grenier powering the #888 National Storage Mercedes-AMG GT3 to second.

Grenier’s 2:04.1551s pushed the #13 Phantom Global Porsche down to third, just after Joel Eriksson moved the 911 GT3 to second.

Valentino Rossi, the nine-time motorcycling world champion on his second appearance, impressed to fourth in the #46 WRT BMW, with Felipe Fraga pushing the #130 Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing entry to fifth.

Alessio Picariello moved the #911 The Bend Manthey EMA Porsche to top spot ahead of Reynolds, albeit by just 0.12s, before the Vanthoor brothers took over.

Older brother Laurens clocked a 2:03.6897s, with 2018 winner Dries Vanthoor putting the #32 WRT BMW in second, albeit by 1.19s.

The time set by Laurens Vanthoor was still 0.9s slower than Practice 1 fast man Kelvin van der Linde in the #22 Wash It Team MPC Audi, who set the fastest time of the day in the morning session.

The #130 GruppeM Mercedes-AMG completed the top five, ahead of the #88 Triple Eight Mercedes-AMG Pro-Am entry, led by seven-time Supercars champion Jamie Whincup.

The #22 MPC Audi, #911 Manthey EMA Porsche, #2 MPC Audi and #93 Wall Racing Lamborghini Huracan completed the overall top 10.

Like the first two practice sessions, there were no incidents or stoppages.

Friday’s Repco Bathurst 12 Hour action concludes with Practice 4, for Bronze drivers only, at 4:30pm AEDT.