Whincup sets the pace in Bathurst practice

Bathurst 12 Hour
17 Feb
Jamie Whincup, the 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour winner, fired the Pro-Am #88 Mercedes-AMG to top spot in a flurry of fast laps
  • Jamie Whincup fastest on Saturday morning in Bathurst

  • Whincup leads Pro-Am one-two in Practice 5

  • One more practice session before all-important Qualifying

Jamie Whincup has set the pace on Saturday morning at the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour, with the Supercars legend leading a Pro-Am one-two.

Whincup, the 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour winner, fired the Pro-Am #88 Mercedes-AMG to top spot in a flurry of fast laps.

The seven-time Supercars champion’s 2:03.1132s best proved 0.396s quicker than next best Briton Harry King in the #911 The Bend Manthey EMA Porsche.

David Reynolds, the 2017 Bathurst 1000 winner, ended the session third in the #130 Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing entry, some 0.55s down.

The session featured the first red flag of the weekend, courtesy of an off for Jesse Bryan in the #25 Method Motorsport McLaren Artura.

Bryan appeared to lose control heading into Hell Corner, with the #25 McLaren coming to rest in the sand trap.

After the stoppage, Whincup moved to fifth with a 2:04.8046s, then to second with a 2:04.1470s before ultimately taking top spot with a 2:03.1132s.

“We’re here to have a bit of fun, and go as fast as we can,” said Whincup, whose co-driver Jordan Love is set to qualify the car.

“I got a good run over the top [of the Mountain], it was my last lap of the day.

“Not getting too excited, it’s only practice, but it’s hard to go fast around here in these cars, I’m certainly happy.”

Love opened proceedings with a 2:08.3427s, before Sheldon van der Linde shot the #32 WRT BMW to top spot with a 2:07.7359s.


Cam Waters lowered the benchmark to a 2:07.2305s in the #222 Scott Taylor Motorsport Mercedes-AMG, before van der Linde improved once again to a 2:06.4532s.

Valentino Rossi (#46 WRT BMW) Kelvin van der Linde (#22 Wash It Team MPC Audi), Maro Engel (#130 Mercedes-AMG) and Jules Gounon (#75 SunEnergy1 Mercedes-AMG) all spent time at the top before the red flags flew.

When the session resumed, Gounon was 0.097s ahead of Kelvin van der Linde, with younger brother Sheldon 0.191s from top spot.

Felipe Fraga took over the #130 Mercedes-AMG from Engel, and moved the GruppeM entry to second with a 2:04.2540s.

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From there, Whincup emerged as the fast man of the morning, first moving into the top five before taking ownership of top spot. The 125-time Supercars race winner had to fight through traffic in his final laps, including Triple Eight Race Engineering teammate Broc Feeney’s #888 National Storage Mercedes-AMG.

Luca Stolz took over from Gounon, with King moving to second with a 2:03.5098s. Daniel Juncadella moved the #77 Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing entry to fourth with a 2:04.1323 #77, with Reynolds fifth on a 2:04.1527s.

Prince Jefri Ibrahim took over from Whincup, with Yasser Shahin taking over from King. All the while, Reynolds moved to third in the #130 Mercedes-AMG on a 2:03.6618s.

The session wasn’t without more tension, with Shahin embroiled in an on-track skirmish down the Mountain with Christopher Haase (#22 Audi) and Max Twigg (#702 IRC GT) as the session wound down.

The final practice session of the weekend, set to start at 10:00am AEDT, will set the groupings for Qualifying, which gets underway at 12:40pm.

The all-important Pirelli Shootout, which will decide the Allan Simonsen Pole Award winner, will commence at 4:05pm.

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