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Waters pips Feeney as crashes strike 12 Hour practice

Bathurst 12 Hour
17 Feb
Supercars stars lead the way in session headlined by crashes for #20 IRC and #50 KTM entries
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  • Cam Waters edges Broc Feeney in final 12 Hour practice

  • Waters leads Mercedes-AMG top four in dramatic session

  • #20 IRC GT, #50 KTM crash heavily in pre-Qualifying hit-out

Cam Waters has pipped Supercars rival Broc Feeney in a thrilling final practice session at the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour, which was bookended by crashes.

In the final hit-out before Qualifying, Waters (#222 STM Mercedes-AMG) clocked a 2:02.9190s to beat Feeney (#888 National Storage Mercedes-AMG) by just 0.025s.

Mercedes-AMG entries filled the top four, with Jordan Love (#88 Triple Eight) making it two Triple Eight cars in the top three, ahead of Ross Gunn (#27 Heart of Racing by SPS).

Friday fast man Kelvin van der Linde put the #22 Wash it Team MPC Audi in fifth ahead of Alessio Picariello in the #912 The Bend Manthey EMA Porsche.

All told, there were four Pro-Am entries in the top seven, with 2021 Bathurst 1000 winner Lee Holdsworth seventh in the #9 Hallmarc Team MPC Audi.

The #46 WRT BMW, #75 SunEnergy1 Mercedes-AMG and #32 WRT BMW rounded out the top 10, with Ricardo Feller (#2 KFC Team MPC Audi) on the bubble in 15th.

IRC clouts the McPhillamy concrete in Practice 6

Two-time Allan Simonsen Pole Award winner Maro Engel narrowly sealed passage into the top 50 per cent group, with the German star 12th, albeit 0.845s off the ultimate pace.

The session was red-flagged at the 28-minute mark after a crash at McPhillamy Park for Adam Hargraves in the #20 T2 Racing/Localsearch IRC GT, which sustained heavy right-side and rear damage.

As the session wound down, Trent Harrison crashed the #50 KTM XBOW on the run to Forrest’s Elbow, with the car also sustaining heavy damage. Both cars are unlikely to be repaired in time for Qualifying.

Waters and Feeney managed to crack the 2:02s barrier for the first time on Saturday, but were still down on van der Linde’s 2:02.7346 set on Friday morning.

After a Full Course Yellow trial opened proceedings, Picariello jumped into the 2:04s with a 2:04.7480s, followed by Matt Campbell (2:05.1360s), Dries Vanthoor (2:05.7197s) and Raffaele Marciello (2:05.8135s).

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Campbell, the 2019 race winner and 2020 pole-sitter, went to the top with a 2:04.9254s, followed closely by Christopher Haase (2:04.9333s).

The #888 Mercedes-AMG began to show serious pace, with Mikael Grenier clocking a 2:04.8488s to move to second, before Joel Eriksson put the #13 Phanton Global Porsche on top with a 2:04.5823s.

Big impact for KTM into Forrest's Elbow

Grenier pushed the benchmark to a 2:04.2151s, before Campbell emerged as the early driver to beat with a 2:04.1102s and 2:03.7166s on consecutive laps.

Three-time winner Jules Gounon moved to third with a 2:04.5126s, before going first with a 2:03.6691s — albeit by 0.047s over Campbell — when Hargraves crashed.

After a stoppage and a spate of driver changes, Waters — a two-time pole-sitter of the Bathurst 1000 — went fastest with a 2:03.5687s, before van der Linde put the #22 Audi at the top with a 2:03.4465s, followed by Holdsworth.

With nine minutes to go, Jordan Love moved the #88 Mercedes-AMG — which was warned over pit lane speed — to the top with a 2:03.0965s, ahead of Gunn. At that time, Engel was 12th, and he was pushed down to 15th.

With four minutes to go, Feeney powered in a 2:02.9446s, before Waters turned up the wick and clocked a 2:02.9190s, which would remain the best of the session given Harrison’s crash.

The #13 Porsche was the unlucky entry in 16th, with Bastian Buus 0.149s from a top 50 per cent berth as the chequered flag flew.

Qualifying will be split in two between the 15 quickest and slowest overall cars from Practice 6.

The lower 50 per cent of the field will qualify at 12:40pm AEDT, before the upper 50 per cent roll out at 1:30pm, setting the line-up for the Pirelli Shootout.

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