A storming lap from the Lago Racing team put their Class B Lamborghini Gallardo at the summit of the first practice session for the Liqui–Moly Bathurst 12 Hour at the famed Mount Panorama circuit.
The team of Roger Lago, David Russell and Peter Kox running in the class designed for older (pre-2012) GT3 cars upstaged the bigger names in the more modern equipment of Class A. Russell, who contested the Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercars round with the Kelly brothers’ Nissan Motorsport team, broke the qualifying lap record in the process of storming around Bathurst in 2:05.940. The lap was 1.2 seconds faster than the #1 Erebus Motorsport Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 carrying defending winner Bernd Schneider alongside Maro Engel and Nico Bastian, Engel the man responsible for the lap.
Having been part of Nissan’s entry into the V8 Supercars paddock for the 2013 season Rick Kelly (Russell shared endurance driving duties with older brother Todd) put the lone Nissan GT-R GT3 third fastest. Alex Buncombe, Nissan Playstation GT Academy alumnus Wolfgang Reip and Katsumasa Cyio complete the team.
Steven Richard and Christopher Mies were fourth and fifth fastest for M Motorsport and Marc Cini respectively, putting a second Lamborghini and a first Audi in the top five.
The hour long session was not without incident, with two red flag periods interrupting running including one for contact between two of the Class A Ferrari 458 that brought the session to an end.
In the separate – earlier – 60 minute session for the cars in the lower classes it was the Daytona Sportscar that set the best lap. The car – designed after the Shelby Daytona Coupe – set a best lap of 2:17.488 to lead the session and Class D.
Behind the trio heavily modified Ford Focus, running in their own class, the Griffith Corporation entered Ginetta G50 topped Class C ahead of the Lotus Exige of British team Motionsport, regulars Pete Storey and Ben Gower joined by BTCC star Gordon Shedden for the Bathurst weekend.
The slowest class in the race – at least on the basis of the opening session was Class F. The class is comprised entirely of three eye-catching Fiat Abarth 500 with drivers including occasional V8 Supercar pilot Luke Youlden and Paul Stokell, a double champion of the Australian Nations’ Cup series (one of the forerunners of the countries GT Championship). Youlden was the fastest man of the group, hauling the diminutive machine up and down the mountain in 2:33.250.