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Audi leads the way at the Mountain

The opening practice session for the 2024 Repco Bathurst 12 Hour is complete as Audi Sport Customer Racing Australia strike the first blow courtesy of Kelvin van der Linde.

The South African ace tangled with a slower Invitational Class IRC GT at The Cutting, but this failed to slow the Wash It/Jamec Racing Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo 2 to be shared by van der Linde, Christopher Haase and Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS reigning series winner Liam Talbot.

Setting a 2m 02.734s, van der Linde was 0.509s clear of Team WRT’s Charlie Weerts and his teammate Raffaele Marciello was a further 0.199s in arrears.

Aiming to complete four wins in succession, Jules Gounon was fourth as part of the SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 driver line-up featuring back-to-back winners Luca Stolz and Aussie ex-pat Kenny Habul.

Rounding out the top five was the KFC/Jamec Pem Audi of Markus Winkelhock, Ricardo Feller and Bathurst local Brad Schumacher.

Manthey EMA’s ‘Grello’ Porsche Type-992 GT3R was sixth featuring a line-up led by 2019 Bathurst 12 Hour winner and recent 24 Hours of Daytona winner Matt Campbell alongside Laurens Vanthoor in addition to debutant Ayhancan Güven.

Triple Eight Race Engineering’s efforts were led by its Pro-entry of Will Brown, Broc Feeney and Mikael Grenier in seventh leading a Mercedes-AMG lockout of the final top 10 positions. Heart of Racing by SPS, Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing and the second Triple Eight Race Engineering entry completed the top positions.

Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS entries outside the top 10 included the Hallmarc Racing Audi in 11th, the second EMA Manthey Porsche finishing 13th and M Motorsport’s Mercedes-AMG was 14th. Following was the Valmont Racing Audi and the Tigani Motorsport Mercedes-AMG was 18th.

The next session is due to start at 9:50am AEDT.