Vanthoor sets fastest-ever lap at Bathurst to snatch 12 Hours pole

Audi and Lamborghini to start endurance event from the front row.

Audi star Laurens Vanthoor stunned Mount Panorama by setting the fastest-ever officially recorded lap around the famed ‘mountain’ in his R8 LMS Ultra to take pole position for the Bathurst 12 Hours.

Vanthoor recorded a brilliant 2m02.5521s laptime to take the Allan Simonsen Pole position trophy in a thrilling 20-minute pole shoot-out. He will share his car with Italian GT ace Marco Mapelli and former F1 driver Markus Winkelhock.  

Five brands ended qualifying in the top five with Lamborghini, Nissan, Ferrari and Aston Martin next on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

JBS Racing driver David Russell led the early running in the final qualifying session and for a time his impressive 2m03.1751s lap looked to be insurmountable – at least until Vanthoor’s stunning lap towards the end of qualifying.

Russell and co-drivers Steve Owen and Roger Lago will start tomorrow’s race from the front row in the best ever qualifying performance from a Lamborghini in 12-Hour history.

The contrast in the front row is notable with the works powerhouse Phoenix Racing team from Germany to line-up alongside the tiny part-time Lamborghini team from Brisbane’s inner suburbs in Queensland.

Nissan starts third despite shunt

The factory-backed Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 will start third thanks to an impressive time from young Japanese star Katsumasa Chiyo – though his efforts ended soon after setting his 2m03.2974s lap when he made contact with the Cutting wall. Chiyo lost the rear of the GT-R mid-corner and touched the concrete barrier, limping back to pit lane where the car remained for the final 10-minutes of the session.

Quiet achievers AF Corse’ ended the day as the best Ferrari team, Italian Michele Rugulo’s 2m03.84s lap surprising many and putting the next-best thing to a works Ferrari GT team right into contention for tomorrow.

German star Stefan Mucke hauled the Craft Bamboo Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 into fifth position, just 1.4s from pole position and only 0.8s from a potential front-row spot.

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About this article
Series Endurance
Event Bathurst 12 Hour
Track Mount Panorama Circuit
Drivers Marco Mapelli , Michele Rug , Steve Owen , Allan Simonsen , Markus Winkelhock , Stefan Mücke , Laurens Vanthoor , Katsumasa Chiyo , Roger Lago , David Russell
Article type Qualifying report
Tags bathurst 12 hours