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HomeNewsBathurstEngel blitzes a ‘zero’ to take Bathurst 12 Hour pole

Engel blitzes a ‘zero’ to take Bathurst 12 Hour pole

MARO Engel became the first driver to deliver a ‘zero’ at the Bathurst 12 Hour to secure pole position for the 2023 event.

The German dropped in a stunning 2m00.8819s lap as the chequered flag flew on the final 15-minute Top 10 Shootout period to secure his second Allan Simonsen Pole Award and the prime spot on the grid for the #999 GruppeM Mercedes-AMG.

The second Shootout period developed into a showdown between Engel and Broc Feeney, the Triple Eight youngster trading punch for punch with the overseas GT ace.

THE GRID: Where every car will start the Bathurst 12 Hour

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

Feeney put the #888 Supercheap Auto Mercedes-AMG to the top of the order early in the session with a 2m01.6716s, only to be pipped by four tenths by Engel.

The pair progressively whittled the pole time down to a 2m01.0896s with the German ahead, before Engel shattered the qualifying record by posting a ‘zero’ on his final tour.

In fact, Engel set the three fastest laps of the session; his late burst also included a 2m01.095s that would have been good enough for pole.

Behind the duelling Mercedes was 2019 winner Matt Campbell, putting the #912 Manthey EMA Porsche into third on the grid with a time that was just 0.08-seconds shy of a front row berth.

Next was the car of the reigning race winners, the #75 Sun Energy 1 Mercedes-AMG with Jules Gounon at the wheel.

Although the Frenchman set the fastest final sector of all, his best lap of 2m01.2916s was still four tenths shy of the top spot.

Dries Vanthoor rounded out the runners in the second Shootout period, putting the #32 WRT BMW into fifth with a 2m01.7241s.

However, the BMW was one of two cars that were subsequently excluded from the results of the Shootout by officials.

Both the #32 BMW (technical infringement) and the #74 Audi driven by Mattia Drudi to seventh in the session (parc ferme procedure infringement) were stripped of their times and will start the race from ninth and 10th on the grid.

The exclusions elevate Chaz Mostert to fifth place, having topped the field in the opening Shootout period for the bottom 50% of the top 10 qualifiers in his #65 Melbourne Performance Centre Audi.

That also means that Valentino Rossi will start his first Bathurst 12 Hour from sixth on the grid courtesy of co-driver Maxime Martin’s efforts aboard the #46 WRT BMW in the session.

The 2023 Bathurst 12 Hour gets underway at 5:45am AEDT Sunday morning.

RESULTS: Top 10 Shootout, 2023 Bathurst 12 Hour

No.DriverClassCarTime
999Maro EngelProMercedes-AMG2m00.8819s
888Broc FeeneyProMercedes-AMG+0.2164s
912Matt CampbellProPorsche+0.2911s
75Jules GounonProMercedes-AMG+0.4097s
65Chaz MostertPro-AmAudi+0.9875s
46Maxime MartinProBMW+1.6264s
44Aaron CameronSilverMercedes-AMG+1.6663s
77Daniel JuncadellaProMercedes-AMG+2.1492s
32Dries VanthoorProBMW
74Mattia DrudiProAudi
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