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HomeNewsBathurstBMW, van der Linde claim Bathurst 12 Hour pole position

BMW, van der Linde claim Bathurst 12 Hour pole position

SHELDON van der Linde has claimed BMW’s first Allan Simonsen Pole Position Trophy since 2018 after heading the Top 10 Shootout for the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour.

The South African watched the final minutes play out from the garage as his rivals tried and failed to beat his 2m02.9810s lap, set with five minutes to go in the session.

But for a lucky break earlier in the day, though, it could easily have been teammate Dries Vanthoor behind the wheel of the #32 Team WRT BMW M4 GT3 for the Shootout.

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“Obviously a dream come true – my second year here, we didn’t expect to go for it this year – we didn’t think we had that edge,” van der Linde said afterwards.

“Me and Dries did rock, paper and scissors to see who would do it (the Shootout). I won, otherwise he would have probably been on pole.”

The session got underway with the 15-minute leg for the five slower cars, comprising the #2 Audi of Riccardo Feller, #22 Audi of Kelvin van der Linde, #46 BMW of Maxime Martin, and the two Manthey EMA Porsches of Alessio Picariello (#911) and Matt Campbell (#912).

It was Van der Linde that led the early running, dropping into the ‘twos’ on his second flying lap.

Campbell was next, before Feller outpaced both of them to move to the top of the order with a 2m02.6604s.

Martin made it a quartet among the ‘twos’ with a 2m02.8230s of his own, but a trip through the gravel when the tyres were at their peak cost him a chance of improving further.

Campbell leapt to the top with just over 10 seconds remaining, undercutting Feller by 0.23s, while van der Linde set the fastest middle sector of all but failed to improve when he reached the chequered flag.

The Porsche driver’s 2m02.4259s stood as the benchmark as the five faster cars hit the track for their 15-minute session, comprising the #32 BMW of Sheldon van der Linde, #75 Mercedes-AMG of Luca Stolz, #88 Mercedes-AMG of Jordan Love, #130 Mercedes-AMG of Maro Engel and #888 Mercedes-AMG of Broc Feeney.

Campbell’s time stood until van der Linde completed his second flying lap, punching in a 2m01.9810s to move to the top of the order with seven minutes remaining.

Van der Linde accepts the congratulations from his team after claiming pole position. Pic: Supplied / Mark Horsburgh

Feeney and Engel were next to improve, jumping to second and third but unable to get within 0.25s and 0.42s respectively.

While his rivals stayed on track for the entire session, van der Linde pitted with five minutes remaining in the session and endured a nervous wait to see if his time stood up for pole.

“My heart rate is still 200 – I was shaking for 20 minutes after I got out of the car,” van der Linde said. “There’s a huge consequence of making a mistake here, we’re working with fine margins here … to be on pole here is super cool.”

Feeney fractionally improved his time to a 2m02.2372s with two minutes remaining but remained second in what proved his final flying lap of the session.

Engel was the final threat, setting personal bests through the first two sectors but heading to the pits instead of completing the lap as the chequered flag waved.

Campbell’s time held for fourth place ahead of Stolz, while Love was unable to surpass any of the early-session runners and ended up 10th.

The race is scheduled to get underway at 5:45am AEDT on Sunday morning.

RESULTS: Top 10 Shootout, 2024 Bathurst 12 Hour

132Sheldon van der LindeProBMW2m01.9810s
2888Broc FeeneyProMercedes-AMG+0.2562s
3130Maro EngelProMercedes-AMG+0.429s
4912Matt CampbellProPorsche+0.4449s
575Luca StolzProMercedes-AMG+0.4581s
62Riccardo FellerProAudi+0.6794s
722Kelvin van der LindeProAudi+0.7792s
846Maxime MartinProBMW+0.842s
9911Alessio PicarielloPro-AmPorsche+1.0985s
1088Jordan LovePro-AmMercedes-AMG+1.1101s
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