Former Bathurst 1000 winner Chaz Mostert has delivered a front row start for MARC Cars Australia after qualifying the #90 MARC BMW M6 GT3 in second place for tomorrow’s 2017 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
Despite being new to GT endurance racing at Mount Panorama, Mostert held provisional pole for a short-lived few minutes in the Top-10 Shootout after clocking a 2m03.05s lap, which was also enough to secure the fastest time in the GT3 Am class for he and teammates Max Twigg and Morgan Haber.
“I have been super stoked with the whole weekend so far, the BMW hasn’t put a foot out of place yet and the car is really quite comfortable,” said Mostert. “To do a lap in the low 2m03s, I was pretty stoked about that. I’m starting to get used to driving the GT car, but I admit that I was thrown in the deep end. The speed you carry across the top is just unbelievable; the faster you go across there the more grip it’s got. “Now though it’s about trying to push myself make sure we’re there at the end of the race tomorrow”
Team manager and former title-winning Supercars engineer, Paul Forgie – who has been a longstanding engineer for the MARC Cars operation – said the satellite GT team’s qualifying results proved the versatility and strength of the MARC Cars operation, and validity of its expansion with MARC GT.
“I’ve run the Class I cars for many years and we have an impressive record of class wins, but to get a result like this on our first MARC GT enduro weekend at Bathurst is fantastic,” said Forgie. “This is like running a Supercar, with Supercar drivers, hero drivers, it’s a professional team with technical support from BMW Motorsport, so it’s all at a high level and to get this result today is a great reward for all the work that’s been put into the team’s expansion.
“Working with Chaz is new for me but I’ve been very impressed all weekend. He’s definitely one of the better drivers we have here in Australia and it’s fantastic to be on the front row tomorrow.”
MARC CARS CLASS I SUMMARY
Meanwhile in the Invitational Class, Aaron Seton lead the six Focus V8 and Mazda 3 V8 MARC Cars on times, to qualify second in class in the #92 Castrol-backed entry with a best time of 2m09.98s. Competing in the “Estoril” car alongside Mick Benton, Hadrian Morrall and father Glenn Seton, Seton said he is looking forward to defending his class title from last year’s Bathurst 12 Hour victory.
“I won Class I with Jake [Camilleri, Car #93] last year and it’s different being his competition this weekend, but I’m really looking forward to racing all of my teammates tomorrow,” said Seton. “The car felt awesome in the whole session, and we were lucky enough to get a couple of clear laps and make the most of it. We made a few changes last night which definitely helped but there’s so much traffic so we’ll have to try and stay out of the way of the GT cars but then also work to consistently pass the GT4 cars too. But the experience you get from racing around Bathurst for 12 hours is amazing and I can’t wait to race with all of our MARC drivers tomorrow.”
MARC Cars Australia qualified in positions second to seventh consecutively for Class I:
#92 – Benton/Morrall/Seton/Seton – 2nd Class I
#91 – Kassulke/Brown/Salmon – 3rd Class I
#94 – Tander/Rowe/McLeod/Leahey – 4th Class I
#95 – Taunton/Busk/Fullwood – 5th Class I
#93 – Camilleri/Thomson/Smith – 6th Class I
#54 – Alford/Lynton/Smith – 7th Class I
The Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour will official start tomorrow morning, Sunday February 5, at 5.45am, with the race being broadcast on the Seven Network around Australia from 5.30am.
Live timing and track commentary can also be found on the event’s website: http://www.bathurst12hour.com.au/