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New Bathurst benchmark lap in the books

A HISTORIC achievement flew under the radar during the course of the inaugural Bathurst International.

Supercars regular James Golding returned to S5000 machinery for a series of unrestricted exhibition laps, along with young gun Cooper Webster.

In limited track time amid some chaotic weather, Golding chalked up a 1:59.2640s on Sunday morning.

That was marginally underneath the outright Bathurst lap record of 1:59.2910s set by German star Christopher Mies aboard an Audi R8 GT3 car in 2018.

Although a regulation change since Mies’ effort means lap records can only be set in races, Golding’s feat was nonetheless impressive.

“It was a pretty special thing to do,” the newly re-signed PremiAir Racing driver reflected.

“I only just got it (the record) by a tenth, but we only had three flying laps so there’s definitely more time to come out of it.

“These are the fastest cars in Australia and we wanted to try and get the record at the best track in Australia, and it’s pretty cool to have been able to do that.

“The car was fantastic and an improvement from when we raced here in 2021; it felt great and was exciting to drive around here.”

Of course, Jenson Button in 2011 did famously lap a McLaren-Mercedes MP4-23 Formula 1 car around Bathurst in 1:48.8s, although that time is also considered unofficial.

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