Matt Campbell, at the wheel of the #911 Absolute Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R he shares with Mathieu Jaminet and Patrick Pilet, took pole position in emphatic style for the 2020 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
The 24-year-old Australian lapped the iconic 6.213 km (3.861 Mile) circuit in 2:03.5554, nearly a quarter of a second quicker than Alvaro Parente in the #60 59Racing / EMA Racing McLaren 720S GT3.
Parente, driving with teammates Ben Barnicoat and Tom Blomqvist, led the timing sheets until Campbell’s lap, the last of the Top 10 Shootout, saw the Australian go nearly three-tenths quicker in the first sector.
Completing the top three on the grid for the first round of the 2020 Intercontinental GT Challenge was the #999 Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 in which Rafaelle Marciello lapped in 2:03.8219.
The session passed without incident, in contrast to qualifying earlier in the day.
Matt Campbell was delighted to have given teammate Patrick Pilet the opportunity to start the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour from pole position.
“I put everything on the line,” said the young Australian. “I was really pushing hard and I missed a few apexes but overall there was nothing left on the table. I tried absolutely everything I could but it was fantastic result. It is the first time here in the new generation of car and it’s a great starting position for tomorrow so I’m extremely excited. This is one I’ve wanted for a long time.”
“We’d done a similar lap time in qualifying this afternoon so I knew what I had to do in this session. Conditions were changing in the Top 10 so it was a bit of an unknown but watching everyone else, you’re getting more and more nervous but in the end we got the job done and it’s the perfect starting position in the darkness for tomorrow.”
Patrick Pilet, who will take the start for the #911 Absolute Racing Porsche, is enjoying working with Matt Campbell in the #911 Porsche.
“(As a teammate) he fits perfectly to be honest!,” said Patrick Pilet. “It is the first time for me on this track and he is the man for me on this track. He’s unbelievable!”
The 2020 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour gets underway at 05:40 local time on Sunday February 2.