SATURDAY: Allan Simonsen Pole Award on offer

THE ALLAN SIMONSEN pole award will be awarded today at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour – an annual highlight of Australia’s International Enduro. 

The annual pole award – presented to the fastest driver in the Pirelli Top-10 shootout this afternoon – is named after the late Danish driver who for some time was Mount Panorama’s fastest ever.

Though he never actually scored pole position for the race, he held the race lap record for several years and famously re-set the Bathurst outright lap record during an end-of-season challenge event.

Simonsen set the fastest time in qualifying for the 2012 race, however the grid was determined on the aggregate time of all three drivers rather than the single fastest lap in qualifying.

Though pole position may not seem important for a 12-hour race, the race has never been won from lower than 7th on the grid.

Qualifying is split over three sessions, with Qualifying 1 for all cars to set the grids for Classes B, C and Invitational.

A second, 30-minute session immediately after is reserved for Class A cars only and will set the order for the Pirelli Shootout later in the afternoon.

While the 10 fastest from qualifying two progress to the shootout – to commence at 4:40pm – the remainder of the grid will be determined based on lap times from both sessions.

The Pirelli shootout will then see the 10 fastest cars run in reverse order to determine the winner of the Allan Simonsen Pole Award.

Five different drivers and five different brands have won the pole award since its introduction in 2014, following Simonsen’s tragic passing in an accident at LeMans.

The Pirelli Shootout will be broadcast live and free on 7mate this afternoon from 4:30pm AEDT.

All of Saturday’s action will be covered live and free via the Bathurst 12 Hour’s live stream in Australia and around the world – available via the links on the website home page.

Allan Simonsen Pole Award winners
Year Fastest time Car Qualifying Time Shootout time
2014 Maro Engel Mercedes Benz SLS AMG 2m03.858s
2015 Laurens Vanthoor Audi R8 LMS 2m02.552s
2016 Shane van Gisbergen McLaren 650S GT3 2m01.286s
2017 Toni Vilander Ferrari 488 GT3 2m02.219s 2m02.861
2018 Chaz Mostert BMW M6 GT3 2m02.345s 2m01.9340s