The Castrol Vodafone BMW Masters of the Mountain – Russell Ingall, Mark Skaife, Tony Longhurst and Timo Glock – have ended the opening practice day inside the top 10 of the 59 car field with their BMW M6 GT3.
The day was spent getting Glock up to speed on his first visit to Mount Panorama, however the German ace – who has two F1 podiums to his credit – came to grips with the rise and fall of the 6.213 kilometre circuit in no time.
The track presented a different proposition to the BMW Experience event the Bathurst legends – who have 11 Bathurst 1000 wins between them – participated in back in November. Hot conditions have descended upon the Western New South Wales region for this weekend and are expected to rise on the approach to race day.
Presenting an additional challenge was coming to grips with two compounds of Pirelli Tyres – medium and hard.
Ingall ended the shorter opening session this morning on top, which was for non-Platinum or Gold seeded drivers.
With the full field on track, traffic was the talk of the day. The speed differential between the classes within the Bathurst 12 Hour make-up created some issues in places, however this was to be expected given the difference between the outright GT3 cars (which the Castrol Vodafone backed machine is in) and the smaller class cars.
The BMW M6 GT3 of Castrol-backed Supercars Champion, Mark Winterbottom, DTM Champion, Marco Wittmann and car owner Steve Richards ended the final session on top.
The #7 team is working on a setup that will be closer to that of the sister car for tomorrow’s fifth practice session. This will then be followed by a frenetic one hour qualifying session and a further 20 minutes for the Class A GT3 cars only.
A top 10 Shootout will round out the day’s activities at 3:30pm Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time, which will be shown live nationally on 7mate, in New Zealand on Sky Sports and internationally on www.bathurst12hour.com.au.
All non-televised sessions will be livestreamed around the globe (including Australia) on www.bathurst12hour.com.au.
Sunday’s race will begin at 5:45am local time.