Blancpain GT Series drivers champion Raffaele Marciello put the #999 Mercedes-AMG Team MANN FILTER GruppeM Racing he shares with Maxi Buhk and Maxi Goetz on pole position for the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, lapping the 6.21 km Mount Panorama circuit in 2:02.9348 in the Top Ten Shoot Out.
Quickest round the Mountain in the Shootout was Jake Dennis, at the wheel of the #62 R-Motorsport Aston Martin V12 Vantage, who lapped in 2:02.4946. The #62 crew will, however, be subject to a two-place penalty for a pitlane infringement in the first qualifying session so will start from third on the grid.
Setting the third quickest time in the Shootout was the #77 Mercedes-AMG Team Craft Bamboo Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 in which Maro Engel set a 2:03.0419 in the car he shares with Luca Stolz and Gary Paffett.
Quickest of the Pro/Am entries was the #777 The Bend Motorsport Park Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by David Reynolds who set a 2:03.1735.
The qualifying sessions had opened with the whole grid on track with the Class B, C and I entries setting their qualifying times for the race. The #62 R-Motorsport entry showed its form by topping the time sheets with a 2:03.0181 while the Soucek / Soulet / Abril-crewed #108 Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 was second quickest with a 2:03.5029.
The quickest entry outside of the Class A Cars was the #91 MARC Cars Australia Marc ll V8 which set an official time of 2:05.3653 in the hands of Anton de Pasquale. Pasquale was able to lap the car quicker and set a 2:04.2585 but with the time being lower than the set minimum for the invitational entry, it was disallowed.
Taking pole position in the Class B Cup cars category was the #4 Grove Group Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in which Ben Barker set a 2:06.4520 early in the session.
The Class C GT4 category pole was taken by #71 Exendra Motorsport KTM X0-Bow GT4 which lapped Mount Panorama in 2:17.0721 in the hands of Mathias Beche.
As qualifying moved into the second session, reserved for the Class A field, it was, again, Jake Dennis who demonstrated the pace of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage by setting a 2:02.4127 on his final lap. David Reynolds, at the wheel of the #777 Mercedes was second quickest with a 2:02.4249 while Raffaele Marciello, driving the #999 entry could only manage ninth quickest. The battle for a place in the Top Ten Shootout was fierce, however, with less than four tenths of a second covering the qualifiers for the final session.
With the penalty applied to the #62 R-Motorsport entry, the #999 Mercedes will start from pole position for the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour and will be joined by the #77 Mercedes on the front row of the grid. The #62 R-Motorsport Aston Martin will start from third and will be joined on the second row by the #107 Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley Continent GT3.
The lights go out for the 2019 running of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour at 05:45 local time on Sunday February 3.
UPDATE: Subsequent to the results of the Top Ten Shootout being published the #62 R-Motorsport Aston Martin V12 Vantage was excluded from the results due to a technical infringement. relating to the mandated rev limit threshold of the Aston Martin’s V12 engine.
The breach was unintentional and related to the vehicle’s manufacturer-supplied homologation documents.
The official starting order will published shortly after the results of any further penalties or infringements have been applied.