It’s been a busy schedule at Mount Panorama for the first day of the joint Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships’ second round and Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour.
See below for an update on all the categories.
Bathurst 6 Hour
The feature category of the weekend had two one-hour practice sessions and it was Shane van Gisbergen who was too good all day.
The Repco Supercars Championship star produced the first practice session’s best time before shaving a further second and half early in the second session.
The #97 BMW M4’s biggest challenger came in the form of the reigning champions in Beric Lynton and Tim Leahey – With Lynton getting to within three tenths in the morning and Leahey around one second in the afternoon.
A third and final practice session at 8:15am sets up the two double qualifying session at 4:40pm AEDT
Competitors in Radical Australia enjoyed two sessions on track today and unfortunately both sessions saw red flags.
Despite the trouble, Neale Muston dominated the day to go fastest in practice and qualify on pole.
Qualifying in second place a further five seconds behind the polesitter was Brad Sheils, who finished ahead of some of the series’ biggest names in Chris Perini and Peter Paddon.
While Muston was well ahead, very little separated the trailing trio with Shiels just one second faster than Perini who was less than a hundredth faster than Paddon.
The series just has one race tomorrow, which takes place 3:50pm AEDT.
MRF Excel Bathurst Challenge
Like Muston, there was one standout driver on the first day for the MRF Tyres Excel Bathurst Challenge and that was Cam Wilson.
Wilson was too strong for the huge 55-car field, going fastest in practice before converting his pole position to victory in the event’s first official race of the weekend.
Comfortably leading every lap to take out the win, Wilson finished ahead of Tim Colombrita, who notched up an impressive performance himself after moving up four places throughout the five-lap race.
Colombrita wasn’t the only driver to gain places during the five laps with Ryan Casha crossing the line in fourth place behind Liam Gretgrix after starting in ninth.
The series returns tomorrow with the two more races – the first being at 7:00am AEDT.
Supercheap Auto TCR Australia series
It was two very different looking top fives in TCR’s two practice sessions today with Lee Holdsworth and Jordan Cox the only drivers to feature at the pointy end on both occasions.
In practice one, Cox topped the timesheets, going almost one second faster than Garth Tander and Holdsworth, while John Martin and Tony D’Alberto rounded out the five quickest drivers.
In the afternoon practice session, Holdsworth was the one to beat, posting the day’s fastest time outright – almost two seconds ahead of Cox’s practice one time.
Chaz Mostert was just two tenths slower in the session but was three tenths faster than Dylan O’Keefe, while Cox eventually ended up behind Aaron Cameron in fifth.
It’s an early start to a busy day for the category tomorrow with qualifying at 7:40am AEDT setting up race one at 10:40am, before the category’s second race of the day at 12:25pm.
Motorsport Australia GT Championships
The fastest outright lap time for the day came in the GT cars, courtesy a blistering lap from Garth Tander who was also the only driver to go under two minutes and five seconds.
Behind the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS Evo, Tander and his co-driver proved to be the fastest in the first practice session, while Brett Hobson in the Nissan Nismo GT3 was the fastest in the GT Trophy Session during the session.
In the second practice run for the day, Adrian Deitz went quickest by one and a half seconds over Yasser Shahin in the Audi R8 LMS Evo, while Hobson once again was the best of the Trophy Series drivers and third fastest overall.
The category has three sessions tomorrow, with back-to-back qualifying sessions at 9:05am and a one-hour race at 2:15pm.
National Trans Am Series
Aaron Seton proved too strong all day today for the healthy field, going fastest in both of the category’s two practice sessions, before securing pole position in the afternoon.
Despite the series’ qualifying session only going for three laps after a Tim Brook crash, Seton still showed plenty of pace and highlighted he is among the top contenders after qualifying two and half seconds faster than the second placed Ben Grice.
Earlier in the day, Nathan Herne proved to be the number one seed’s biggest challenger, getting to within one second in the first practice session, however Herne will start tomorrow’s race from the back of the grid after the teenager’s team chose to replace an engine ahead of qualifying.
The series will have two races tomorrow with the first at 10am local time.
Photo: Speed Shots Photography