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Broc rocks Bathurst: Feeney fastest in qualifying

Broc rocks Bathurst: Feeney fastest in qualifying

> Result: Qualifying

BROC Feeney has laid down the gauntlet ahead of the Pirelli Shootout, clocking the first 2:01s lap of the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour weekend in Qualifying.

The 21-year-old Supercar star powered to provisional pole on Saturday afternoon, with the #888 National Storage Mercedes-AMG quickest on a 2:01.8911s.

Feeney was 0.318s faster than his closest rival, Luca Stolz in the #75 SunEnergy 1 Mercedes, to fire a warning shot to his rivals ahead of the fight for the Allan Simonsen Pole Award.

Sheldon van der Linde (#32 WRT BMW) was third ahead of Maro Engel (#130 GruppeM Mercedes-AMG), Jordan Love (#88 Triple Eight JMR Mercedes-AMG) and Matt Campbell (#912 Manthey EMA Porsche).

Campbell, the 2020 pole-sitter, improved from 13th to sixth in the closing minutes, while Practice 6 fast man Cam Waters was only 13th in the #222 STM Mercedes-AMG.

Ricardo Feller (#2 KFC Team MPC Audi), Kelvin van der Linde (#22 Wash It Team MPC Audi), Maxime Martin (#46 WRT BMW) and Alessio Picariello (#911 The Bend Manthey EMA Porsche) rounded out the top 10.

It was a nervous wait for WRT, which opted to park its cars for the second part of qualifying, with Martin ending up ninth by session’s end.

Feeney is now in the box seat to go one better, having qualifeed second for the 2023 edition of the race.

“I felt it, far out,” said Feeney, when asked about his speed around the Mountain.

“It’s fast going down the hill there, but we’re going to have to make another big step this afternoon to go even quicker. We’re still a second off what we did last year, I’m not sure if we'll get back to that.

“It’s out of control, doing these lap times around here is pretty hard work, you don’t breathe for a long time during the lap.

“Stoked to be on top, but that means nothing, we’ve still got a Shootout to go."

In the first part of the session, for cars in the lower 50 per cent from Practice 6, Tony D’Alberto (#93 Wall Racing Lamborghini) held early sway with a 2:07.0349, before improving to a 2:05.2371s.

D’Alberto consolidated top spot with a 2:04.7532s, before David Russell set a 2:04.6784s aboard the #27 Supabarn Mercedes-AMG.

Glen Wood (#48 M Motorsport Mercedes-AMG) began to turn up the wick, jumping to top spot with a 2:04.0631s, before reeling off a 2:03.6491s and 2:03.4246s to assert the #48 M Motorsport Mercedes-AMG at the top.

D’Alberto improved to a 2:04.0406s, albeit 0.616s down, with Russell 0.644s away with a 2:04.0691s.

It was a session to forget for the only Pro entry in the first part of qualifying, with Joel Eriksson only fourth — and overall — with a 2:04.1952s in the #13 Phantom Global Porsche.

The upper 50 per cent runners rolled out after a 20-minute break, with Stolz (2:03.5815s) and Waters (2:03.5963s) moving to the top, displacing Wood.

Sheldon van der Linde went fastest with a 2:03.2897s, before improving to a 2:02.2142s ahead of Stolz (2:02.6068s), Feeney (2:02.6587s) and Martin (2:02.6856s).

The #32 WRT BMW improved again to a 2:02.2142s, with Stolz clocking a 2:02.4265s. Martin logged a 2:02.5854s to move to third, before Kelvin van der Linde dropped the #22 Audi into third.

In the final minutes, Stolz recorded a 2:02.2099s to put 0.004s on Sheldon van der Linde’s benchmark. Campbell, meanwhile, took over from Guven as Manthey EMA aiming to avoid a shock Qualifying exit. 

Picariello's 2:03.0060s finally pushed Wood out of the 10, with Feeney moving the #888 Mercedes to third with a 2:02.3615s. On his next lap, Feeney recorded the first 2:01s lap of the weekend to claim top spot.

Engel logged a 2:02.2193s to move the #130 GruppeM Mercedes-AMG to fourth, while Campbell was only 13th with a 2:03.3686s, some 1.477s from Feeney’s new benchmark.

Campbell jumped to ninth with a 2:02.6711s, before consolidating his Shootout berth with a 2:02.3785s.

Wood ultimately qualified 14th, with 13 of the 15 drivers from the top 50 per cent group occupying the top 13 spots in combined Qualifying.

The fight for the Allan Simonsen Pole Award, the Pirelli Shootout, will commence at 4:05pm AEDT.