Liam Talbot and Chaz Mostert set the best overall time in qualifying and led the list of 10 entries that made it into Saturday afternoon’s shootout for the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12-hour pole.
Talbot and Mostert put together a two driver time of 4:08.589 in the number 65 Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II in Coinspot livery, run by the Melbourne Performance Center team.
Their lead in preliminary qualifying was won by Talbot, who led three tenths of a second in the first 25-minute qualifying session for drivers with a bronze rating.
With the second-placed entry in the Am class, Talbot and Mostert’s advantage over the next fastest Pro-Am entry – Brad Schumacher’s MPC Audi – was almost six-tenths.
Schumacher’s co-driver, Kelvin van der Linde, cleared some of that significant gap by setting the fastest lap of the weekend so far in Q2.
The South African set a time of 2:02.812 in the Audi No. 74, but Mostert’s attempt in the low range of 2m3s was fast enough to keep the Coinspot machine at the top.
Yasser Shahin and Ricardo Feller finished third, despite Shahin raising a red flag at the exit of Murrays Corner in the opening session.
Both qualifying runs were interrupted, with the Pro driver session being temporarily halted in the early stages as Supercars driver Will Brown lost his No. 19 Mercedes-AMG stranded in Hell Corner on its first flying lap.
Martin Konrad and Jules Gounon finished fourth for SunEnergy1 Racing as the highest placed Mercedes-AMG duo in qualifying.
They were followed in time by the Am class No. 45 Sheargold Motorsport Mercedes-AMG and the Grove Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Another Am entry to make it to the shootout was the Valmont Racing Mercedes-AMG in seventh.
Shane van Gisbergen had to come up with a strong lap time to finish the No. 888 Triple Eight Race Engineering to bring AMG to the shootout spots after co-driver Prince Jefri Ibraham finished only 12th in the first session.
The list of qualifiers for the shootout was completed by the Wall Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo and MPC’s No. 9 Hallmarc Audi.
There were no major surprises in qualifying, although two Pro-Am entries didn’t make it to the ones that turned laps.
It was the Griffith Mercedes-AMG that Brown drove in Q2 and the number 24 MPC Audi.
Furthermore, the Team BRM Audi and the Craft-Bamboo Racing Mercedes-AMG were absent due to accident repairs and an engine change, respectively.
The starting positions outside the top 10 were determined by the results of the two-driver qualifying, with Brown and Mark Griffith starting from 11th place.
Pole in the Invitational class went to the M Motorsport KTM X-Bow GT2 which qualified twelfth overall in the hands of Dale Wood and Trent Harrison, who finished the bronze driver’s session ninth overall for five GT3 cars.
The Top 10 Shootout starts at 4:10 PM AEST (2:10 AM ET).
RESULTS: Qualification (aggregated)