29 March 2024 | Uncategorised

Russell Tops Opening Bathurst 6 Hour Practice

McLennan Motorsport’s David Russell has set a rapid pace in the opening practice session for the 2024 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour.

The Erebus Motorsport Supercars endurance co-driver set a 2m 23.8604s in the early stages of the session – some six tenths of a second faster than Will Davison’s 2023 pole time, to finish just over three quarters of a second ahead of the chasing pack.

Russell will be sharing the Class X BMW M4 alongside reigning GT4 Australia champion Shane Smollen and Porsche Carrera Cup young gun Tom McLennan in an entry that is shaping to be a strong contender on Sunday.

Under picture-perfect skies, Tony Quinn was the first car out of pit lane in the Game Over Ford Mustang Mach 1 that won last year’s A2 Class in a thrilling photo finish at the finish line.

The session would run green for the entirety of the scheduled hour, giving teams and drivers valuable track time to familiarise themselves with the 6.213km Mount Panorama circuit, and a chance to find any potential gremlins early in the weekend.

The Class X Sherrin Rentals BMW M4 was the first car to dip below the 2m 30s barrier in the initial laps, however times quickly tumbled as tyres and cars came up to temperature.

It was once again a BMW stranglehold on the field, as the Dean Campbell/Cameron Crick DA Campbell Transport BMW M2 Competition ended the session in second thanks to a late 2m 24.6406s from Crick.

The outright and Class X top three was rounded out by the Yellow Pages/Race for a Cure BMW M2 Competition of Micahel Kavich/Ben Kavich/Thomas Randle on a 2m 24.9124s, the only other car to dip below a 2m 25s lap time.

Reigning 6 Hour winners Simon Hodges and Jayden Ojeda were sixth in the Secure Wealth Advisers BMW M4, having strengthened their driver roster for 2024 with the addition of George Miedecke.

Further down the field, the Game Over Ford Mustang Mach 1 of Tony Quinn/Ryder Quinn/Grant Denyer topped Class A2 in ninth outright with a 2m 27.8184s.

Class B1 was topped by the Spinifex Recruiting BMW 335i of Peter O’Donnell/Matt Chahda/Garry Mennell in sixteenth outright on a 2m 31.0727s.

The Forklogic Mitsubishi Evolution X of Oliver Loiacono/Liam Loiacono set the fastest time in Class A1, a 2m 32.0872s good enough for eighteenth outright.

The sole B2 Class entry, the Axis Surveys BMW M3 Coupe of Richard Shinkfield/Ettore Vosolo/Chris Holdt set a 2m 33.5732s to finish in 22nd outright.

The fastest Class C car was the Osborne Motorsport Renault Megane RS 265 of Colin Osborne/Rick Bates/Zach Bates in 32nd outright on a 2m 37.7317s.

The BPro/six80racing Toyota 86 of Alice Buckley/Jack Wood/Jaylyn Robotham set a 2m 43.2360s to top Class D in 40th outright.

And Class E was topped by the 1800 Lasagne/LK Diesel Services Mazda 3 SP25 of Andrew Jackman/Mark Taubitz/Jamie Westaway in 49th outright on a 2m 48.5139s, overcoming a small hiccup midway through the session with an oil leak at pit lane entry.

The Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour field returns to Mount Panorama at 5pm AEST this afternoon for Practice Two.