GRANT AND IAIN Sherrin picked up where they left off last year, the defening Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour winners topping the first 70-minute practice session of the weekend this morning.
In fine conditions, the Sherrin Rentals BMW M4 punched out the quickest lap of the session with Grant behind the wheel, his 2m27.7160s best leading the field by just under a full second.
The time was three seconds slower than the equivalent session twelve months ago; teams and drivers adapting to the brand-new MRF Tyres in use for the first time in 2019.
Second was the No. 40 Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X driven by Jordan Cox, Graeme Cox and Daniel Smith – Jordan Cox setting that cars best of 2m28.6488s.
Third was also the first of the class B cars, the father and son team of Geoff and David Russell.
Driving the second Sherrin Rentals racing entry – a BMW 135i – David Russell’s 2m30.57s best was comfortably quickest in class.
An impressive debut into the outright class for the race’s most experienced combination saw Michael Auld, Brian Walden and Richard Bloomfield fourth in their first hitout in the Mercedes-AMG A45.
Fifth was the sister GWR Australia entry, the Race for a Cure Mitsubishi Lancer EVO driven by Garth Walden, Michael Kavich and Ben Kavich.
A series of late flyers saw the BMW M135i steered by Iain Salteri, Simon Hodges and Jayden Ojeda sixth fastest, while George Miedecke was similarly quick late in the session to put the Ford FPV GT-F he’ll share with car owner Jeremy Gray and dad, Andrew Miedecke, to seventh – and first of the Aussie muscle cars.
2018 polesitters Beric Lynton and Tim Leahey were eighth as they worked their way into their program while the HSV GTS driven by Joe Krinelos, Tony Virag and Bathurst legend John Bowe was ninth.
The top-10 was completed by the BMW M4 driven by Anthony Soole and Andrew Fisher.
The Class A2 leader was eleventh outright – the Trevor Symonds, Rob Coulthard HSV Monaro looking strong early.
The class C leader was 26th outright, the BMW 130i of James Goldsbrough, Gavin Driscoll and Jake White edging out the similar BMW of Chris Manley and Lea Medhurst (in 27th) by 1.5 seconds.
Harry Gray and Jimmy Vernon topped Class D, finishing the session 22nd outright and leading their closest rivals, the Baker / Callaghan Honda, by just 0.3 seconds.
The leader in Class E was 38th outright: the defending class winning Mazda 3 of David Worrell, David Noble and Andrew McMaster leading the way.
Two red flag stoppages interrupted the otherwise clean session.
The first came within the opening five minutes before most cars had an opportunity to bank a time, the No. 8 N-Gen Racing Hyundai i30N making contact with the fence on their first flying lap.
A second red flag was called when the No. 66 Subaru Impreza WRX STi of Dimitri Agathos, Matt Boylan and Graeme Heath reportedly took a trip through the gravel at the Chase and stopped.
Practice two will commence at 1:35pm, local time.