MARANELLO ON POLE
Toni Vilander set the Mountain alight to take Pole for tomorrow’s Bathurst 12 Hour enduro.
Vilander in the Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 set a time of 2:02.861 to be the first Top Ten Shootout winner and win Maranello’s second Trophy. An emotional Vilander recalled competing alongside Simonsen in 1994 and talking to him on the grid at Le Mans just before his fatal crash in 2013.
“I saw Allan for the first time in 1994 when I raced in 1994 when I raced in Denmark,” explained Vilander. “At the race where he had the big issue with the big accident and I talked with him on the grid so it’s not an easy moment.”
Vilander will share the car with Triple Eight Engineering Supercar drivers Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes.
“Overall the lap was pretty good. I thought I had it under control but, overall it was a good lap. It’s not an easy form of qualifying, the shoot-out,” added Vilander.
Chaz Mostert and two-time DTM Champion Marco Wittmann placed second and third, respectively, for BMW. Mostert set a time of 2:03.055 and is enjoying his experience in the BMW.
“I have been super stoked with the whole weekend so far, the BMW hasn’t put a foot out of place yet and the car is really quite comfortable,” Mostert said. “It was interesting watching the times at the start of the top ten – obviously the temp went up a lot this afternoon, and we were watching a ‘three eight’ as the best until the last three guys went out. We knew it was going to be quite slippery out there, I don’t know if (the temp) came down a bit more towards the end there but there is still a lot of grip in these cars so I was pretty stoked with that lap. “These guys next to us [Maranello] though have done an awesome job all weekend and they are going to be hard to beat tomorrow.”
Wittmann set a time of 2:03.249 to put the #60 BMW Team SRM BMW M6 GT3 onto the second row of the grid.
“It was good fun, especially for me, my first time racing at Bathurst and I had a pretty good lap,” said Wittmann. “The other two drivers did a little bit quicker lap, but oh well I’m pretty happy.”
Fourth was Ash Walsh who set a stunning lap time of 2:03.823 in the Miedecke Stone Racing Aston Martin V12 Vantage, just ahead of the lead Bentley driven in the shootout by Maxime Soulet.
Sixth was Alvaro Parente in the lead Tekno McLaren, seventh was Earl Bamber in the Walkinshaw Racing Porsche 991 GT3R,
Timo Glock placed the Castrol BMW M6 GT3 in eighth and rounding out the top ten were Matt Campbell in the Competition Motorsports Porsche 991 GT3R and Nathan Antunes in the GT Motorsport Audi R8 GT3 LMS.
The Nissans had a disappointing day and will start 11th and 12th on the grid. Katsumasa Chiyo clipped the wall in Practice Five, damaging the floor and the suspension, but did well to not cause more damage.
The Walkenhorst BMW M6 GT3 also struck trouble when Ricky Collard came into contact with the Hallmarc Audi but is expected to race tomorrow.
In the classes it was the Grove Motorsport Porsche 997 GT3 Cup Car that took Class B Pole, M Motorsport in Class C with the KTM X-Bow and the Daytona Dodge Viper GT3 took Invitational Class honours.
A non-starter for tomorrow’s race will be the R Motorsport Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT4 after heavily colliding with the Mountain
Straight concrete. Prosport Performance will also have a busy night repairing the #19 Porsche Cayman GT4.
Tomorrow’s action starts at 5:45am with Auto Action providing hourly updates throughout the day on Facebook and a round-up of the day’s events on the website. A detailed race report will feature in Auto Action #1703, out on Thursday.
Date posted: February 4, 2017