Saturday, February 7, 2015

Bathurst 12 Hour: Pole position and lap record for Laurens Vanthoor and Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra

By Johan Laubscher

The Bathurst 12 Hour weekend is well underway at Mount Panorama and Saturday yielded very strong performances from the Audi teams, especially Phoenix Racing's front running #15 "Kangaroo" Audi R8 LMS ultra.

Saturday began with a fifth and final practice session, followed by two qualifying sessions, the first for the full grid and the second exclusively for Class A.

The fifth practice session was again topped by the #15 Audi R8 LMS ultra from Phoenix Racing, as was the case during the second session on Friday as well. Four of the Audi entries were within the top ten, with #74 JAMEC-PEM Racing in third, EVA Racing eighth and the #5 Skwirk car in ninth.

The first qualifying session yielded a provisional pole position for Christopher Mies in the #9 Hallmarc/Network Clothing Audi R8 LMS ultra. The top three was rounded out by the #15 Phoenix Racing entry.

Laurens Vanthoor was behind the wheel of the #15 R8 LMS ultra for the final qualifying session and stormed to pole position with a 2:02.5521 lap time, winning the prestigious Alan Simonsen Pole Trophy and setting a new qualifying lap record at Bathurst. He will be sharing the "Kangaroo" Audi R8 LMS ultra with his teammates, Markus Winkelhock and Marco Mapelli. The #9 Hallmarc/Network Clothing Audi rounded out two Audis in the top ten for the trio of Mark Eddy, Marc Cini and Christopher Mies in ninth.

The remaining Audi R8 LMS ultra entries were outside of the top ten, led by the #16 "Crocodile" Audi R8 LMS ultra of Felix Baumgartner, Christopher Haase and Stéphane Ortelli in thirteenth. The first of JAMEC-PEM Racing's two cars qualified fourteenth with the #74 entry of Warren Luff, Alessandro Latif and Greg Crick. EVA Racing with Peter Fitzgerald, Michael Almond and Matt Halliday were seventeenth fastest. Rod Salmon, Nathan Antunes and Oliver Gavin took twenty-third on the grid in the #5 Skwirk entry, ahead of the second JAMEC-PEM entry in twenty-fourth, the #75 Audi of Steven McLaughlan, James Winslow and Dean Koutsoumidis.

The Kintyre Racing (PPE) Audi TT RS also performed well within Class D. They continued their strong pace from Friday and placed third in class, forty-second overall. The #55 TT RS will be driven by Matt Cherry, Glynn Crimp and Stuart Kostera.

The Bathurst 12 Hour weekend’s results can be seen HERE.

The race will be getting underway at 05:50 local time on Sunday morning.

We wish the best of luck to all of the Audi teams and drivers.

Photo credit: Bathurst 12 Hour