Mostert steals Allan Simonsen pole award in last-lap thriller

Chaz Mostert has stolen LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour pole from Kelvin van der Linde.

Mostert secured his second Allan Simonsen Pole Position Trophy at the death in a thrilling Pirelli Shootout.

The Supercars ace scored pole by 0.085s, which was the closest pole-winning margin in 12 Hour history.

It marked Audi’s fourth 12 Hour pole, and Mostert’s second 12 Hour pole.

Mostert clinched pole for BMW back in 2018; he also scored a second Bathurst 1000 pole in December.

The 10-strong field tackled a new split-session shootout to fight for pole.

Ben Barker (#4 Porsche) led the way on the opening runs on a 2:05.724s.

Lee Holdsworth (#9 Audi), Duvashen Padayachee (#55 Audi), Shane van Gisbergen (#888 Mercedes-AMG) and Tony D’Alberto (#6 Lamborghini) were all within 0.9s of the Briton.

Barker lowered his own benchmark to a 2:05.048s, before Holdsworth dropped into the 2:04s.

With four minutes remaining, van Gisbergen turned up the wick and fired in a 2:03.638s.

Barker and Holdsworth improved to a 2:04.1s and 2:04.2s respectively.

Holdsworth went purple through the second sector, but was unable to displace his Supercars rival.

The top five from qualifying, three Audis and two Mercedes, took to the track shortly afterwards.

Van der Linde (#74 Audi) set an early 2:03.327s, and had 0.68s to find on van Gisbergen.

The Audis heaped on van Gisbergen en masse; van der Linde dropped in behind van Gisbergen to the tune of 0.02s.

Ricardo Feller (#777 Audi) vaulted to the top on a 2:03.338s, before Mostert (#65 Audi) went some 0.12s quicker.

It seemingly became a three-way Audi battle between van der Linde, Feller and Mostert.

Van Der Linde clocked a 2:02.869s; Mostert went 0.19s quicker again despite traffic.

Jules Gounon (#75 Mercedes-AMG) pushed van Gisbergen back to fifth; all the while, van der Linde continued to push the needle.

The South African improved his time, but still had 0.05s to find on Mostert.

He went again, and finally unseated Mostert to the tune of just 0.09s.

Gounon dropped Feller to third; Mostert crossed the line for one more lap.

Mostert lost nearly 0.3s in the first sector alone, but put together a blockbuster end to the lap to score pole.

Van Gisbergen held onto fifth ahead of Holdsworth and Barker.

Padayachee, D’Alberto and Hobson rounded out the top 10.

Sunday’s 12 Hour will commence at 5:15am local time.

Allan Simonsen Pole Position Trophy winners

2014: Maro Engel, Mercedes-AMG (2:03.858s)
2015: Laurens Vanthoor, Audi (2:02.552s)
2016: Shane van Gisbergen, McLaren (2:01.286s)
2017: Toni Vilander, Ferrari (2:02.861s)
2018: Chaz Mostert, BMW (2:01.934s)
2019: Raffaele Marciello, Mercedes-AMG (2:02.934s)
2020: Matt Campbell, Porsche (2:03.555s)
2022: Chaz Mostert, Audi (2:02.493s)