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Bathurst 12 Hour lap record under threat, Mercedes top final practice

SHANE van Gisbergen’s long-standing Bathurst 12 Hour qualifying lap record could be under threat given the pace set in Saturday morning’s final practice sessions.

Reigning victor Luca Stolz topped Practice 6 aboard the #75 Sun Energy 1 Mercedes-AMG on his final lap of the hour-long session with a 2m02.4337s effort – a lap that contained a noticeable lift prior to braking for The Chase.

Stolz pipped the #999 Gruppe M Mercedes-AMG by 0.18-seconds, its 2m02.6184s lap set by Maro Engel having held the top of the timesheets for over half the session.

ENTRY LIST: Every car and driver in the 2023 Bathurst 12 Hour

SCHEDULE: Bathurst 12 Hour track schedule for every category

SPOTTER GUIDE: A picture of every car in the Bathurst 12 Hour

Chaz Mostert was another late mover in the closing minutes of the session, slipping the #65 Melbourne Performance Centre Audi up to third with a 2m02.6587s lap, although he aborted a faster lap as the chequered flag flew.

Fourth was the #912 Manthey EMA Porsche, which held the top spot early in the session courtesy of a 2m02.7749s lap by Matt Campbell, who had topped the earlier Practice 5 session with a fractionally faster lap, while the two Triple Eight-run #888 and #99 Mercedes-AMGs rounded out the top six.

Both sessions took place in sunny and cool conditions approaching midday, while the fast times put van Gisbergen’s 2m01.286s qualifying record, set in 2016, within reach.

For comparison, the fastest time in that year’s final practice session was a 2m02.287s by Campbell, then aboard a McLaren 650S in cool early-morning conditions.

This year’s Top 10 Shootout format is also similar to the qualifying session from 2016, with competitors given 15 minutes to get their tyres up to temperature and set their fastest lap.

The final session delivered the second major crash of the weekend.

The #66 Daytona Sportscars Sin R1 was left badly damaged after Shane Woodman crashed heavily on the exit of McPhillamy Park and spun all the way to Brock’s Skyline at the 16-minute mark of the session.

It was the latest blow to hit the Invitational Class squad having spent Friday’s practice sessions chasing a persistent oil leak, leading to a late night completing an engine change.

The field was already reduced to 25 cars with the #52 MARC II V8 entry officially withdrawn following Keith Kassulke’s crash in Practice 4.

The Bathurst 12 Hour field will next hit the track for the two qualifying sessions at 12:45pm AEDT on Saturday.

RESULTS: Practice 6, 2023 Bathurst 12 Hour (60 min)

PosNo.Driver/sClassCarTime
175Habul / Gounon / StolzProMercedes-AMG2m02.4337s
2999Engel / Grenier / MarcielloProMercedes-AMG+0.1847s
365Mostert / Ross / TalbotPro-AmAudi+0.225s
4912Campbell / Jaminet / PreiningProPorsche+0.3412s
5888van Gisbergen / Feeney / GotzProMercedes-AMG+0.497s
699Whincup / Stanaway / IbrahimPro-AmMercedes-AMG+0.5111s
7777Mies / Feller / ShahinPro-AmAudi+0.7537s
86D’Alberto / Wall / Denyer / DeitzSilverLamborghini+0.8888s
974Haase / Niederhauser / DrudiProAudi+1.0119s
1077Juncadella / Ellis / CatsburgProMercedes-AMG+1.1036s
1155Schumacher / Golding / VervischPro-AmAudi+1.1644s
1246Farfus / Martin / RossiProBMW+1.3691s
13222Lowndes / Davison / Emery / TaylorPro-AmMercedes Benz+1.5172s
1424Bates / Love / ReynoldsPro-AmMercedes-AMG+1.5254s
1510Gaunt / O’Keeffe / FawcettSilverAudi+1.5619s
1632Van der Linde / Vanthoor / WeertsProBMW+1.6044s
174S Grove / B Grove / De PasqualePro-AmPorsche +1.6371s
1844Zalloua / Pires / Padayachee / CameronSilverMercedes-AMG+2.8493s
199Holdsworth / Fiore / CiniPro-AmAudi+3.3658s
2047Russell / Webb / T Koundouris / J KoundourisSilverAudi+3.3948s
21101Poulakis / Hunt / Tse / HuiSilverMercedes-AMG+3.9955s
2250Harrison / Ojeda / Wood / CramptonSilverAudi+6.6473s
2319Schiller / Pancione / GriffithInvitationalMercedes Benz+11.0143s
24111Currie / Donaldson / TauntonInvitationalMARC+11.0759s
2566Schoots / Thomas / WoodmanInvitationalSIN+15.9094s
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