3 February 2018

BMW takes pole, Audi first Intercontinental GT Challenge manufacturer on Bathurst grid

BMW takes pole, Audi first Intercontinental GT Challenge manufacturer on Bathurst grid
Kelvin Van der Linde put the #22 Audi Sport Team MPC Audi on the front row for the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, after setting the fastest time of the Intercontinental GT Challenge competitors in the Top 10 Shootout for the Australian endurance classic.
 
As is the tradition in Bathurst, the ten fastest Class A cars after qualifying go through to the spectacular Top 10 Shootout on the Mount Panorama Circuit. South African youngster Kelvin Van der Linde – winner of last year’s inaugural California 8 Hours – had set the fastest time in qualifying (2’02.345) and was the big favourite for the Shootout.
 
Although Van der Linde managed to improve on his qualifying time, shaving off almost two tenths of a second in the process, that was not enough to beat Chaz Mostert in the non-IGTC BMW to claim overall pole. With a 2’02.169 Van der Linde still put the #22 Audi Sport Team MPC Audi on the front row for the opening round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge however, as fastest of the IGTC competitors.
 
Next in line was another Audi-driver, 2017 Total 24 Hours of Spa winner Christopher Haase, at the wheel of the Audi Sport Team MPC’s sister car. Haase set a near perfect lap, edging in front of the non-IGTC Lamborghini of Luke Youlden.
 
The first of the McLarens, the #47 YNA Autosport machine driven by V8 Superstar Scott McLaughlin, will share the third row of the grid with Cameron Waters (#55 Mercedes-AMG Team Strakka Racing), the lone representative of the three-pointed star in the Shootout.
 
Robin Frijns (#37 Audi Sport Team WRT Audi), Shane Van Gisbergen (#58 YNA Autosport McLaren), Steven Kane (#17 Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley) and Matt Campbell (#12 Competition Motorsports Porsche) all made it into the Shootout as well, but small mistakes during their final effort meant that they will start the race from the fourth and fifth starting rows.
 
Kane and Campbell were the fastest Bentley and Porsche drivers respectively, which meant that all five manufacturers entered in the Intercontinental GT Challenge were represented in the Top 10 Shootout for the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
 
Eight IGTC-cars in the Top 10 also meant that eight did not make it to the Shootout, but all got through qualifying unscathed, ready to tackle the opening round of the 2018 Intercontinental GT Challenge come Sunday morning. Among the Bronze drivers that will compete in all four rounds of this year’s Intercontinental GT Challenge Nick Leventis has the best grid position, sharing the #55 Mercedes-AMG of Cameron Waters. With the #39 Audi Sport Team WRT car Paul Dalla Lana is in 13th among the IGTC-competitors, Tim Pappas is 15th with the #540 Black Swan Racing Porsche.
 
As always, the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour start in the dark, at 5.45 local time on Sunday morning. The endurance classic will be streamed live on our website and Facebook-page, and on the GTWorld channel on YouTube.

Full Intercontinental GT Challenge results