Bathurst 12 Hour: Campbell Porsche beats Mercedes armada in Practice 5

Porsche young gun Matt Campbell topped the fifth practice session for the Bathurst 12 Hour in the #912 Manthey EMA 911 GT3R on Saturday, his late flyer thwarting a Mercedes 1-2-3.

Bathurst 12 Hour: Campbell Porsche beats Mercedes armada in Practice 5
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Queenslander Campbell, who races for Porsche Penske Motorsport in IMSA competition in America, led the hour-long session with a fastest lap time of 2m02.7513s around the fabled Mount Panorama circuit.

The session was red flagged almost immediately for the #101 Mercedes stopping on track, although Nicky Catsburg bizarrely continued for another lap in his Craft-Bamboo Mercedes – incurring a 10-minute hold penalty for ignoring the reds when the track went green again.

Triple 8’s Supercars young gun Broc Feeney was rapid out of the blocks in the #888 Supercheap Mercedes-AMG, lapping in 2m04.4861s – just 0.0456s faster than Ricardo Feller’s The Bend Audi R8 LMS and 0.083s quicker than Jamie Whincup’s Boost Mobile Mercedes.

Christopher Haase then reset the bar to 2m04.1543s in his Audi, a tenth ahead of Sheldon van der Linde’s Team WRT BMW M4, and the Audis of Fraser Ross and Frederic Vervisch.

Vervisch then took P1 with 2m03.9568s, putting him almost two tenths clear of the pack.

Just past the halfway point, the times tumbled as the circuit rubbered in – Thomas Preining lapping the #912 Manthey-run Porsche 911 GT3R in 2m03.4562s, before Jules Gounon thrashed that with a 2m02.8282s in the Sun Energy Mercedes – 0.3533s ahead of the opposition at that point.

Maro Engel took P2 in the GruppeM Mercedes, before Ritchie Stanaway beat him late on in the #99 Boost Merc – just 0.0292s off Gounon. Behind Engel and Patric Niederhauser (#74 Audi), David Russell was the top Silver-class runner in the Supabarn Audi.

Campbell then went fastest in the #912 Porsche with five minutes to go with 2m02.7513s, beating Gounon by 0.0769s.

Live coverage of the 2023 Bathurst 12 Hour will start on from Saturday onwards (not available to viewers in Australia and New Zealand).


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