2017 Bathurst 1000 winner David Reynolds has brought his experience around Mount Panorama to the 2020 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, proving his worth by posting the fastest time in third practice.
Driving the SunEnergy1 #75 Mercedes AMG GT3, the Australian local was able to dip below the 2:05 mark late in the 60 minute hitout to end the penultimate practice session for the day at the top of the standings.
High ambient temperatures and with the sun baking down on the circuit, lap times in the hour-long session were predicted to be slower than outings earlier in the day.
In the repaired #77 Mercedes AMG GT3, Maro Engel got down to a low 2:05 early in the session, having sat out the back end of Practice Two thanks to a right rear suspension failure while going through Griffin’s Bend.
It took until the halfway mark of the session for the #77 to be toppled from first, the #18 Nissan GTR Nismo GT3 getting in a clean lap with Joao Paulo Lima De Oliveira putting the KCMG squad back on top.
Following the leading Nissan and Mercedes, three of the five Porsche entries followed to fill up the top five spots thanks to Earl Bamber and reigning champions Matt Campbell and Dirk Werner.
As clouds started to provide a small amount of relief from the heat over the circuit, Luca Stolz put the #77 back in front with a 2:05.1670, heading up the field while the top ten cars were split by less than a second.
On his Bathurst debut, Felipe Fraga impressed late in the session by getting the Practice Two pacesetting #999 Mercedes AMG GT3 up to third place, sneaking in front of the Porsche contingent and just over two tenths down on the leading #77 car.
A late lap within the final ten minutes from David Reynolds elevated the #75 Mercedes AMG GT3 up to first, being the first driver of the session below a 2:05 and the fastest Pro-Am car by a second.
Reynolds’ lap of 2:04.9312 stayed there to the end of the session with no other driver able to get into the 2:04’s around Mount Panorama. The #77 Craft Bamboo Black Falcon entry held on to second with the #18 KCMG Nissan in third, heading off the #999 and #888 Mercedes AMG GT3’s.
Words: Jordan Mulach