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Bathurst: Walden leaves it late to top second Bronze session

Bathurst: Walden leaves it late to top second Bronze session

> Result: Practice 4

A quick lap in the closing minutes by Garth Walden has helped Mercedes-AMG end Friday on top at the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour.

Driving the Pro-Am #48 M Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3, Walden clocked a 2:05.3317s in the Bronze-only Practice 4.

Walden is sharing the #48 with Glen Wood, Jack Le Brocq, and Justin McMillan at this weekend’s event.

While a Mercedes-AMG ended the day atop the time sheets, it was an Audi that scored the fastest lap of the day.

Kelvin van der Linde’s 2:02.7346s, set in the morning session aboard the #22 Wash It Team MPC Audi, was the day’s benchmark.

Van der Linde was the only driver to set a lap in the 2:02s bracket, with the top four fastest laps all set in Practice 1.

Walden stole the thunder of Bathurst residents Brad Schumacher and Kenny Habul, who traded top spot during the session before Walden went fastest.

Habul, the two-time defending Bathurst 12 Hour winner, led the early running in the #75 SunEnergy1 Mercedes-AMG. Schumacher, a fellow Bathurst local, also enjoyed time in top spot aboard the #2 KFC Team MPC Audi.

The former set the early running with a 2:12.686s, before Schumacher improved the benchmark to a 2:10.198s. Habul then moved to a 2:08.870s, before Schumacher powered to top spot with a 2:06.905s.

Habul carried on as Schumacher pitted, and the SunEnergy1 Mercedes clocked a 2:06.257s.

All the while, Schumacher returned and recorded a 2:05.584s, with his time set as Keith Kassulke spun at The Chase.

For the second year in a row, Kassulke struck trouble at The Chase, but this time was tipped into a gentle spun at corner exit in his #91 Wheels/FX Racing MARC II.

Max Twigg (#702 TekworkX IRC GT) and Darren Currie (#111 MRA/111 MARC II) had their own scares at The Chase and Griffins Bend respectively.

There was no stopping Walden as the clock wound down, with the #48 Mercedes 0.198s quicker than his closest rival.

Liam Talbot, aboard the #22 Wash It Team MPC Audi, ended up second after he fired in a 2:205.5292s on his 18th and final lap of the session.

The #22 had arguably the best day of all, finishing the four practice sessions in first, first, seventh and second.

The #911 The Bend Manthey EMA Porsche, with Yasser Shahin behind the wheel, ended up fifth behind Schumacher and Habul.

The #88 Triple Eight JMR Mercedes-AMG, #44 Valmont Racing Audi R8, #27 Heart of Racing by SPS Mercedes-AMG, #93 Wall Lamborghini Huracan and #702 TekworkX IRC GT rounded out the top 10.

Bathurst 12 Hour action will resume on Saturday with Practice 5, for all drivers, at 8:05am AEDT.