Matt Campbell has delivered Porsche its first ever pole position for the Bathurst 12-Hour after setting a 2:03.5554s around the famed Mt Panorama circuit in the #911 Absolute Racing Carrera.
The #911 of Campbell/Mathieu Jaminet/Patrick Pilet will lead the field away at 5:45am tomorrow morning alongside the McLaren of Alvaro Parente/Ben Barnicoat/Tom Blomquivst.
“It didn’t look like the perfect lap, but from the inside it was the most settled the car has been,” Campbell explained.
“I’ve been trying to get this pole for a few years now, so it’s nice to get the job done.”
The McLaren appears to have a speed advantage down the straights over the Porsche, but with 12 hours of racing ahead – it’s anyone’s guess who will triumph.
“It’s the first major race the car has competed in, so we’ve been doing a bit of work. We’ve got a bit of Supercars experience here with us which is definitely helping,” said Ben Barnicoat.
The race will commence with 32 starters following a number of high-speed crashes seeing teams pack up early in what was a carnage filled day, with most drivers predicting tomorrow will be a high-attrition race.
This morning saw the Hub Auto Corsa entry hard in the wall at the top of the mountain in final practice with Daniel Serra at the wheel, ending the sole Ferrari team’s 2020 campaign. Almost to the second, brake failure for the Bentley of Oliver Jarvis saw the Team M-Sport make heavy contact with the wall at the Chase.
Qualifying saw more mayhem, with the MARC II car of Tyler Everingham colliding with a stricken Sam Shahin, with extensive damage to both cars.
Marvin Kirchhöfer’s R-Motorsport Aston Martin was involved in a spectacular flip at Reid Park, while Dean Canto entered Bathurst folklore after an unusual crash saw his Lamborghini mount the tyre barrier at Skyline and end up parked perfectly in front of the flag point.
Tomorrow’s race is forecast to be run in hot conditions, putting a focus on fitness and fatigue management for the teams, with rain predicted into the afternoon.