Shane van Gisbergen Take Pole for Bathurst 12

 


A ‘lap of the gods’ from a superstar New Zealand driver with a breathtaking 2m01.286s lap has dominated the headlines in qualifying for the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour today.

Van Gisbergen landed the Allan Simonsen Pole Award trophy with the fastest-ever lap of Mount Panorama in a closed cockpit car, a 2m01.286s lap early in the final 20-minute shootout making it utterly clear only one car was destined for pole position.

All up, three cars cracked it into the 2m01s, while a further five cars were under last year’s pole time, but none could get even within half a second of Van Gisbergen’s effort.

Illustrating just how fast he pedalled the No. 59 McLaren, SVG’s lap had an average speed of 184.41km/h.

“It was amazing, I’ve never been close to that around here,” he told Radio Le Mans.

“To win the Allan Simonsen Trophy … if he was still here he’d be fighting for pole. It’s a big honour to win this trophy.”

Rene Rast was best of the rest, the last-minute replacement for Craig Lowndes putting the Jamec Pem Audi R8 he will share with Garth Tander into second place.

Warren Luff, aboard the McLaren which reset the lap record in Matt Campbell’s hands just hours earlier, will start third alongside the other Jamec Pem Audi R8 qualified by Christopher Mies.

McLaren locked out the third row with Will Davison in the Tekno machine marginally faster than Craig Baird, who elected to sit out the 20-minute shootout and accept his time from the earlier all-in qualifying session.

Friday’s heroes, the Bentley squad, could do no better than lock out the fourth row.

Phoenix Racing’s Laurens Vanthoor came within 0.002 of bettering his lap time that claimed pole position last year; this year it was only good enough for ninth, ahead of Nathan Antunes in the GT Motorsport Audi.

The speed of the top 10 is illustrated almost as well by who didn’t make the cut as who did.

2013 winner Erebus Motorsport’s cars will start the race in 11th and 18th, while reigning champions Nissan will start 13th, Rick Kelly unable to get the brand new GT-R NISMO within 1.7 seconds of the pole winning time.

Scott McLaughlin easily accounted for the Class B pole position, his Porsche set to start from 22nd, while the retro Daytona Sportscar Coupe bested the flotilla of MARC Cars to claim pole in the Invitational class.

The 2016 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hours gets underway at 5:45am AEDT on Sunday morning.