CHAZ Mostert has taken the Allan Simonsen pole award ahead of tomorrow’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, after setting a blistering lap in the Top 10 Shootout.
The BMW Team Schnitzer driver, who shares the #43 BMW M6 GT3 with co-drivers Augusto Farfus and Marco Wittmann, lapped the 6.2km Mount Panorama circuit in a 2:01.934 – the second fastest qualifying time in 12-hour history.
Mostert was the second-last car out in the Pirelli Shootout and held on to pole position, after South African young-gun Kelvin van der Linde fell 0.2 seconds short in his pole attempt.
It was BMWs second 12-Hour pole at the Mountain and one position better than the marque qualified in 2017.
“We were close last year in the Pro-Am entry but it’s pretty special to go to the pointy end and actually get the pole this time with Schnitzer Motorsport and the BMW Motorsport group,” said Mostert.
“For me it’s amazing, the boys gave enough trust in me to qualify the car and we made the car better and better over practice. It’s a lot of hard work to fly a car all the way from Germany to put it on the pole so it’s fantastic.”
Van der Linde’s lap, which was only 0.235s slower than Mostert’s, was good enough to secure the South African Audi gun a front row start for tomorrow’s race, driving the #22 Valvoline Jamec Pem Racing Audi he shares with Garth Tander and Frederich Vervisch.
The sister #74 Audi of Christopher Haase, Christopher Mies and Markus Winkelhock will start from third on the grid, with Haase setting a 2:02.434 early in the session after being the fifth car on track.
The Bend Motorsport Park-supported Lamborghini will start a surprise fourth following a stunning lap from Bathurst 1000 champion, Luke Youlden.
The car had qualified eighth in the pre-shootout session however Youlden’s flyer saw them rocket up the order to secure a second-row starting position.
Scott McLaughlin hauled his YNA Autosport McLaren 650S GT3 to fifth place, while Cameron Waters will start his Strakka Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 from sixth – despite not having originally planned to contest the shootout.
Waters’ had qualified 11th however was elevated into the shootout after the Laser Plumbing BMW Team SRM entry was excluded from qualifying due to a technical infringement.
Row four of the grid will be occupied by the #37 Audi Sport Team WRT Audi of Robin Frijns – who set a 2:03.448 – and the #58 YNA Autosport of Shane van Gisbergen, Craig Lowndes and Cöme Ledogar in eighth.
Steven Kane (Bentley Team M-Sport Continental GT3) and Matt Campbell (Ice Break Porsche 911 GT3R) completed the top-10 in the shootout.
Grove Racing’s #4 Porsche GT3 Cup of Stephen Grove, Brenton Grove and Ben Barker have taken out the Class B pole position after Barker lapped the 6.2km circuit in a 2:08.071.
The British driver set the flier early in the session to hand the squad the class pole by just over a second over the #23 Team Carrera Cup Asia Porsche of Paul Tresidder, Chris van der Drift, Andrew Tang and Evan Chen.
JFC – Carter Grange’s #21 car of Daniel Stutterd, Sam Fillmore and Andrew Fawcet picked up third in class with a 2:11.732.
Boat Works Racing took out the pole position in Class C after Aaron Seton set a fast lap early on in the #30 BMW M4 GT4 of Tony Longhurst, Matt Brabham and himself, while Team SRM’s #44 BMW M4 GT4 finished second quickest in the class.
MARC Cars Australia took out the Invitational Class pole position with the #91 MARC II V8 of Keith Kassulke, Rod Salmon and Will Brown with a lap time of 2:06.118.
The Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour commences at 5:45am on Sunday morning.
The race will be broadcast live in its entirety by 7mate around Australia and Sky Sports New Zealand.
A live stream will allow the rest of the world to watch for free via the Bathurst 12 Hour website.
Source: Bathurst 12 Hour Media Release
Photo Credit: Richard Craill