Defending champions Erebus Motorsport have signaled their intentions with the #1 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 setting the fastest time in practice at the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour today. With Maro Engel behind the wheel his time of 2:04.4533 established a new lap record for a tintop car around Mount Panorama.
Conditions were hot late in the afternoon but as Practice 4 drew to a close the temperature dropped a few degrees and with more rubber on the resurfaced circuit times began to tumble. Engel posted his time with 10 minutes remaining in Practice 4. Around the same time the second Erebus car also bettered the old record when the #63 SLS AMG GT3 lapped in 2:05.3339.
Earlier in the day the Class B #23 Lamborghini Gallardo showed a clean pair of heels with David Russell setting a new GT benchmark of 2:05.9397. Of course, Russell’s record didn’t last the day and with more hot weather forecast for the rest of the weekend we expect tomorrow morning’s open qualifying session could yet see the fastest time of the day, traffic permitting.
There will be two open quali sessions tomorrow with a final 15 minute session immediately after Quali 2 open to Class A cars only.
After the break you can see a gallery of images from today and yesterday’s pre-race preparations with thanks to Joel Strickland Photographics. Use the links below to check out the official lap times from all four practice sessions.
[Pics: Joel Strickland Photographics]