Saturday, February 8, 2014

Bathurst 12 Hour: Class B 1-2 pole position and top ten places in Class A for the Audi teams

By Johan Laubscher

The Bathurst 12 Hour weekend is well underway. Four practice sessions kicked off proceedings yesterday and three qualifying sessions today determined the grid for tomorrow’s twelve hour endurance race at Mount Panorama.

The first qualifying session was overshadowed by two red flag periods, one of which was caused by the #5 MPC Audi R8 LMS ultra. Jason Bright suffered a heavy crash and the car has been withdrawn from the weekend. Fortunately Jason Bright is unharmed and has been cleared from the hospital. He stated via his official Facebook page: “Gutted for the rest of the Sqwirk team. @WazzaLuff , Rod Salmon, Liam Talbot and the guys at Melbourne Performance Centre.” The #5 Audi R8 LMS ultra of Rod Salmon, Warren Luff, Jason Bright and Liam Talbot will not be taking part in the race due to the sustained damage of the car, despite qualifying thirty-first with their lap time before the crash during the session.

The final combined qualifying results were highlighted by an Audi one-two in Class B. Rotek Racing (Peter Conroy Motorsport) took pole position and fourteenth overall with the #14 R8 LMS of Oliver Gavin, Rob Huff, Richard Meins and Kevin Gleason. Equity-One Motorsport took second position in Class B and fifteenth overall with the #71 R8 LMS of Dean Koutsoumidis, Dean Fiore, Dean Grant and Michael Loccisano.

The remaining three Audi R8 LMS ultra cars (Class A) all placed within the overall top ten, in positions seven through nine. The leading Audi on the grid was the #9 MPC Audi R8 LMS ultra of Mark Eddy, Marc Cini and Christopher Mies in seventh. In eighth was the #3 Phoenix Racing R8 LMS ultra of Rahel Frey, René Rast and Laurens Vanthoor. Rounding out the Class A Audis was the #25 United Autosports R8 LMS ultra in ninth, the car driven by Markus Winkelhock, Mark Patterson and Eric Lux.

The five Audi R8 LMS and ultra cars will be lining up for the start of the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour at 06:15 local time tomorrow morning. Thankfully Jason Bright has been cleared from hospital following his heavy crash today. We wish the best of luck to the Audi participants for the big race tomorrow.