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Jamie Whincup sets the pace to kick off Saturday action at Bathurst

Triple Eight Race Engineering’s Jamie Whincup has set the pace to begin the build up to qualifying at the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour.

Whincup paced the field on a 2m 03.113s in the fifth practice session to give Mercedes-AMG its second session on top in a row following Garth Walden’s benchmark in the final Bronze Drivers Only session to close out Friday’s schedule.

Returning to Bathurst after making a cameo in Porsche Carrera Cup Australia last October in which he won multiple races, Harry King placed the older specification Manthey EMA Porsche in second just 0.396s off Whincup.

Mercedes-AMG GruppeM Racing was third with Felipe Fraga ahead of SunEnergy1’s Luca Stolz and Maxi Goetz for Craft Bamboo Racing completed the top five. In fact, Mercedes-AMG entries filled out four of the top five positions.

Mikael Grenier continued the strong form of Mercedes-AMG by finishing the session sixth in the Pro Class Triple Eight Race Engineering example from the Heart of Racing by SPS entry of Alex Riberas as Matt Campbell placed the Type-992 Porsche GT3R in eighth.

Struggling with traffic during the final stages, Wash It/Jamec Racing’s Christopher Haase was ninth in the first Audi Sport Customer Racing Australia R8 LMS GT3 Evo 2 as Charles Weerts completed the top 10 in the Shell Helix-sponsored Team WRT BMW M4 GT3.

The second Team WRT BMW was required to serve a 10 minute stop penalty for a red flag infringement yesterday and ended the session 13th.

Cameron McLeod was fastest in Invitational Class with a 2:05.6207 and GT4 was again led by the Nineteen Corp Mercedes-AMG.

The first red flag interruption occurred when Method Motorsport driver Jesse Bryan lost control of one of two new McLaren Artura GT4s at Hell Corner, but was unscathed and returned to the pits after being recovered from the gravel trap.

The next practice session is the final for the weekend at 10am AEDT prior to qualifying 12:40pm AEDT.