Audi 1-2 in final Bathurst practice

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AUDI have finished 1-2 in the final practice session ahead of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour after Christopher Haase set the quickest time aboard the #74 Jamec Pem Racing R8 LMS GT3.

The German driver set the fastest time of the weekend in the late stages of Practice 5 to grab the top spot, ahead of the sister #22 Jamec Pem Audi of Kelvin van der Linde and the #43 BMW Team Schnitzer M6 GT3 in third.

Class B was topped by the Team Carrera Cup Asia Porsche Cup car, while the #44 BMW Team SRM M4 GT4 took out Class C and the #91 MARC Cars Australia Mustang ended up first in the Invitational Class.

In the early stages of the 50-minute hit out, van der Linde punched in the first competitive lap time with a 2:04.594 aboard the #22 Audi.

Minutes later, the #66 Daytona Sportscars Dodge Viper had a big moment at The Cutting when Michael Caine, who was behind the wheel, spun on the entry to the corner bringing out the red flag.

After getting the car turned around, Caine returned to pit lane as the session resumed with 30-minutes remaining.

Philipp Eng took the #100 BMW Team SRM M6 GT3 to the top of the times with a 2:04.180, only to be bettered moments later by Haase in the #74 Jamec Pem Audi who dipped into the 2:03s.

Just as van der Linde returned the favour and went back to the top in the #22, the second red flag of the session was thrown after the #94 MARC Car made heavy contact with the wall at Reid Park.

The car, driven by Zane Goddard, appeared to understeer wide running up the hill under the tree, smacking the wall with the left hand side of the car and coming to rest as the front-left wheel departed.

With just over 10-minutes left on the clock, the green flag flew once again as the cars began to pour out of pit lane.

A number of teams ran qualifying simulations as the timing screens light up – Jamie Whincup the first to knock in a quick lap which promoted the #75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 to fifth.

Marco Wittmann popped up to third in the #43 Team Schnitzer BMW M6 GT3 momentarily, before Haase in #74 crossed the line in a 2:03.061 to go quickest by 0.3s.

As the checkered flag flew, drivers were unable to better their previous times, with the #85 International Motorsport Audi securing fifth place, while the #17 Bentley Team M-Sport Continental GT3 finished seventh fastest.

A throttle sensor problem for the #58 YNA Autosport McLaren limited its drivers from getting laps in as the team worked on the car in the garage after it came into pit lane in the opening minutes of the session.

Towards the end of the 50-minutes, the #77 Ginetta had a small fire in pit lane, with fire crews putting out the flames quickly.

Qualifying for the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour begins at 11:05am local time, which can be live streamed on the Bathurst 12 Hour website, while this afternoon’s Top 10 Shootout will be broadcast live on channel 7mate from 4pm local time.

Article written by Slade Perrins and originally published on Bathurst12hour.com.au.