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BMW LEAD EARLY STAGES OF 6 HOUR WEEKEND

BMW have led the pair of practice sessions that made up the running for the Bathurst 6 Hour competitors today.

The Sherrin Motorsport BMW M4 has made a perfect debut, topping the timesheets at the end of the first session with a 2m 27.88s lap. Brothers Iain and Grant Sherrin ran consistent lap times and have adjusted to the new car well after upgrading from the giant killing BMW 135i.

“We are pretty happy straight out of the box. It is a good car to drive, it is nice and stable, a little bit wider and a little bit longer than the old 135i. It has a bit bigger tyres on it so cornering and the grip levels are just up there,” Grant Sherrin said.

“The new tiptonic DCU gearbox is something to get used to, but it is good fun. It is quick down the straights and up the hill – really quick – and overall it is a nice car to drive.

“After the test days where everything went well we did think it would be quick here, but there is a whole lot of unknowns coming here too – there are a lot of new cars here, and it is still early days with a lot of people still getting into the groove.

“We will see what happens – the main thing is that we are on the grid on Sunday and from there, we will see where we end up.”

The afternoon session proved slower but it was the Bavarian marque in a different guise that led the way with Paul Morris setting a time of 2m 28.264s to finish ahead of Andrew Richmond and Karl Reindler’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X. Morris will share the BMW M135i Hatchback with the experienced Luke Searle and Barry Graham, after a disastrous Bathurst 6 Hour campaign last year.

Most of the new cars had a strong run throughout the day, including the M4, but another was the new Mercedes A45 AMG of Rod Salmon and Nathan Antunes, that finished second in the first session and third for the day. The highly anticipated debut of the Ford Focus RS in the hands of defending champions Nathan Morcom and Chaz Mostert finished sixth overall for the day behind the CXC Mitsubishis of Tim Slade and Dylan Thomas, and the Reindler/Richmond Evo.

Dramas bestowed the Garth Walden Mercedes A45 AMG when a turbo blew, but the car he will share with Craig Baird will undergo an engine change overnight to ensure the car will be at its best in Qualifying. The crew of the Aaron Tebb and Aaron McGill Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX will also have a late night after a suspension failure at The Dipper sent the car into the wall.

In the class battles, Jack Perkins and Leigh Burges led in B1 in the reigning race winner from last year, the venerable BMW 335i, A2 was topped by the Paul Lane, Trevor Symonds and Scott Bargwanna HSV VY Clubsport and B2 was topped by the new Joe Krinelos, Tony Virag and Anthony Loscialpo Holden VF Commodore Redline.

The smaller classes were led by Colin Osborne and Hadrian Morall Renaultsport Megane RS265 in Class C with the new Alfa Romeo Giulietta finishing eighth in the second session. Class D was predictably led by a Toyota 86, that dominate the entries in the class. The Jimmy Vernon and Michael Caine example after the pair of practice sessions as the Kia Proceed of Conroy Motorsport finished 11th. Class I was led by the Ford Falcon Saloon Car of Coleby Cowhan and Lindsay Kearns.

Tomorrow’s running takes place at 7:40am for Practice Three, then the field is split into two halves ahead of Qualifying, which starts at 12:50pm.

Friday Top 10

  1. Sherrin / Sherrin BMW M4 2m27.885
  2. Morris / Searle / Graham  BMW M135i 2m28.264
  3. Salmon / Antunes Mercedes-Benz AMG A45 2m28.339
  4. Thomas / Slade Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X RS 2m28.439
  5. Reindler / Richmond Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X RS 2m28.492
  6. Morcom / Mostert Ford Focus RS 2m28.828
  7. Lynton / Leahey BMW 1M 2m29.025
  8. Wall / Bowe Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9 2m29.310
  9. Gray / Gomersall Ford Falcon FGII GT-F 2m30.175
  10. Walden / Baird Mercedes-Benz AMG A45 2m30.248