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Engel beats lap record for Bathurst 12 Hour provisional pole

MARO Engel put himself into the Bathurst 12 Hour record books in setting provisional pole for the event.

The former Supercars racer set a scintillating 2m01.0536s lap in the #999 GruppeM Mercedes-AMG to undercut Shane van Gisbergen’s seven-year-old qualifying lap record by over two tenths of a second.

He finished the session with a 0.26-second margin over the #75 Sun Energy 1 Mercedes-AMG of Luca Stolz and Jules Gounon, the former setting the fastest lap for the reigning race-winning entry.

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

“That was pushing! My heart was pumping,” Engel told 7.

“The track’s mega quick this weekend, I don’t know why. I never expected us to be close to record speed but the track’s mega quick and the car’s handing really well.”

In all, seven cars dipped into the ‘ones’ during the two-part qualifying session, split into a 20-minute Qualifying 1 section for lower-classified drivers, while the pro drivers had a 40-minute Qualifying 2 session to set their best.

The overall makeup of the qualifying order is determined by the combined lap times of two drivers from each car, with the #999 Mercedes still leading the way on the aggregate numbers.

Top 10 Shootout lineup, 2023 Bathurst 12 Hour

1999Engel / Grenier / MarcielloProMercedes-AMG
275Habul / Gounon / StolzProMercedes-AMG
3888van Gisbergen / Feeney / GotzProMercedes-AMG
4912Campbell / Jaminet / PreiningProPorsche
532Van der Linde / Vanthoor / WeertsProBMW
646Farfus / Martin / RossiProBMW
774Haase / Niederhauser / DrudiProAudi
865Mostert / Ross / TalbotPro-AmAudi
977Juncadella / Ellis / CatsburgProMercedes-AMG
1044Zalloua / Pires / Padayachee / CameronSilverMercedes-AMG

Dylan O’Keeffe set the pace in the opening Qualifying 1 session in the #10 Audi from Aaron Cameron in the #44 Mercedes, with David Wall third in the #6 Lamborghini, although doubts were raised over O’Keeffe and Wall’s eligibility to take part in the session based on which ‘Driver’ – A, B, C or D – they were entered as.

Cameron’s performance was fast enough to get the #44 Mercedes into the Top 10 Shootout, the only Class A Silver entry to do so.

One entry that undoubtedly ran the wrong driver in that session was the #24 Makita Mercedes-AMG, which mistakenly put Gold-classified driver David Reynolds in its car for the start of the session.

Tony Bates hopped aboard once the error was realised, setting a 2m07.2467s lap that was quicker than Reynolds’ deleted best.

The opening session was interrupted by a single red flag period, caused when the #111 MARC I Mazda crashed at Hell Corner with Grant Donaldson at the wheel, while the second session ran without any stoppages.

RESULTS: Qualifying 2, 2023 Bathurst 12 Hour (40 min)

1999Engel / Grenier / MarcielloProMercedes-AMG2m01.0536s
275Habul / Gounon / StolzProMercedes-AMG+0.2674s
3888van Gisbergen / Feeney / GotzProMercedes-AMG+0.3823s
465Mostert / Ross / TalbotPro-AmAudi+0.5111s
5912Campbell / Jaminet / PreiningProPorsche+0.561s
632Van der Linde / Vanthoor / WeertsProBMW+0.6536s
799Whincup / Stanaway / IbrahimPro-AmMercedes-AMG+0.8397s
855Schumacher / Golding / VervischPro-AmAudi+0.9729s
946Farfus / Martin / RossiProBMW+1.0722s
10777Mies / Feller / ShahinPro-AmAudi+1.3787s
1177Juncadella / Ellis / CatsburgProMercedes-AMG+1.5202s
1274Haase / Niederhauser / DrudiProAudi+1.5881s
136D’Alberto / Wall / Denyer / DeitzSilverLamborghini+1.6595s
1444Zalloua / Pires / Padayachee / CameronSilverMercedes-AMG+1.9607s
1547Russell / Webb / T Koundouris / J KoundourisSilverAudi+2.0088s
164S Grove / B Grove / De PasqualePro-AmPorsche +2.0819s
179Holdsworth / Fiore / CiniPro-AmAudi+2.1468s
1824Bates / Love / ReynoldsPro-AmMercedes-AMG+1.1492s
19222Lowndes / Davison / Emery / TaylorPro-AmMercedes Benz+1.1537s
2010Gaunt / O’Keeffe / FawcettSilverAudi+2.7205s
2150Harrison / Ojeda / Wood / CramptonSilverAudi+2.7246s
22101Poulakis / Hunt / Tse / HuiSilverMercedes-AMG+3.4859s
2319Schiller / Pancione / GriffithInvitationalMercedes Benz+11.4875s
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