TEAM GruppeM Racing have again shown their might by topping another practice session, being the fastest drivers on Friday at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
The Mercedes-AMG squad jumped up to the top of the time sheets for the second time in the day after going quickest in practice two, again with quick Italian Raffaele Marciello behind the wheel of the bright yellow and green #999.
Moving the #999 to first at the halfway mark, Marciello’s time stood until the end of the fourth practice session despite some challenges in the dying moments of the hour-long session.
At the beginning of the session it was on for young and old as Maro Engel in the #77 Mercedes-AMG GT3 and Christopher Hasse in the #2 Audi R8 traded times at the top of the table.
Andy Soucek’s #108 Bentley joined the party soon after, going to the lead though his time was only good enough for sixth at the end of the session as Augusto Farfus in the #42 BMW M6 was the first to displace him from the top of the order.
A late-session blast thanks to a very late red flag meant Kelvin van der Linde was on a flyer, the quickest out of anyone over the top of the Mountain but he came just 0.04 shy of eclipsing Marciello.
Fastest of the non-Class A cars was the #20 Class I T2 Racing by Liajen Motorsport entry, going three seconds quicker than the fastest Class B entry of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia squad.
It was another car which ended up on top of the Class C pack with the #71 KTM finishing the session on top, proving to be the fastest of the GT4 cars.
Action resumes on Saturday morning at 8:35 local time as the teams get in their final runs before qualifying and the all-important top ten shootout tomorrow afternoon.
Words: Jordan Mulach