Maranello, 25 Ferbruary – The Bathurst 12 Hours, part of the 24 H endurance series, has got underway with two qualifying sessions at the Mount Panorama Circuit in New South Wales, Australia. It’s the sixth running of this race since it was restarted in 2007 and it looks like being closely contested, with an entry of 31 cars, including 11 in the top GT3 A category. They include two Ferrari 458s, crewed by experienced hands who have demonstrated the car’s potential right from the start.
In the first 90 minute session, fastest time went to the 458 GT3 run by Australian team, Maranello Motorsport in 2.08.224, crewed by Allan Simonsen-Dominik Farnbacher followed by Peter Edwards and John Bowe, who has a great track record in Australian V8s. Third was the second 458 GT3 in a time of 2.09.009, the car entered by Clearwater Racing Team from Asia, which has already dominated the GT3 Asia series in 2011. The car is crewed by Weng Su and Craig Baird, a multiple champion in the Australian Carrera Cup.
The grid for tomorrow’s race which starts at 06h15 was set after the second qualifying session with drivers’ accumulated times over the two sessions taken as their time. Pole went to the Phoenix Racing Audi in a total of 6.28.65, followed by the Maranello Motorsport Ferrari in 6.29.61. Third with a 6.29.63 was the Clearwater Racing 458 GT3, but it will have a 50kg ballast penalty tomorrow after Craig Baird infringed the “performance benchmark” set by the regulations at 2 minutes and 8 seconds.
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