Audi paces morning Bathurst practice

Audi entries paced Friday morning practice at the LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour.

The first Bathurst 12 Hour running since February 2020 ended with an Audi atop both sessions. Ricardo Feller gapped the field in the all-in Practice 1, leading 2020 winner Jules Gounon.

Brad Schumacher made it an Audi double in the bronze-only Practice 2.

Schumacher proved 0.2s quicker than Yasser Shahin, with Liam Talbon making it an Audi trifecta.

The second session was called early after a late issue with the #50 KTM.

The first of six practice sessions for the main event began under sunny skies at 10:05am local time.

It was a stark contrast to the inclement weather which lashed Bathurst on Thursday.

The first session was an all-in half-hour hit-out, and it was the #777 Audi which set the early running.

Drivers were faced with tricky conditions at Mount Panorama following morning rain.

Still, drivers pushed hard on the slippery surface, with times dropping during the session.

Luca Stolz set the early running in the #75 on a 2:08.940s, with Feller 0.01s behind.

From there, the times began to tumble; Feller dipped into the 2:07s, before Stolz went into the 2:05s.

Stolz’s 2:05.782s was quickest for all of three minutes before Feller fired in a 2:04.908s.

With three minutes remaining, six cars were covered by less than a second.

As the chequered flag flew, Gounon vaulted to the top, albeit by 0.0003s.

However, Feller flexed his muscle and clocked a definitive 2:04.515s.

All told, the gap to Shane van Gisbergen in seventh was 0.94s; the gap to Gounon in second was 0.39s.

After a 10-minute break, cars returned to the track for the bronze-only Practice 2.

Through two thirds of the session, the #777 Audi was again the car to beat.

Yasser Shahin’s 2:07.754s proved just 0.04s quicker than Brad Schumacher.

Kenny Habul, who runs the SunEnergy1 team, was third on a 2:07.915s.

Shahin went faster on a 2:07.585s; Schumacher went faster again on a 2:07.282s.

Only Shahin was within a second of Schumacher’s time, with Talbot 1.06s behind in third.

Martin Konrad and Tony Bates were fourth and fifth ahead of Prince Jefri Ibrahim.

Cars will return to the track for Practice 3 at 3:15pm local time.