Nissan Man Buncombe Fastest as Bathurst Field Combines

by James Broomhead
Bathurst rookie Buncombe led the first combined practice (Credit: Race Torque Media)

As the entire field for the 2014 LiquiMoly Bathurst 12 Hour hit the track together for the first time it was Alex Buncombe who set the fastest time of the session in the Nissan GT-R GT3 entered by the NISMO Athlete Global Team.

Buncombe’s lap of 2:06.596 was still slower than David Russell’s barnstorming lap of the earlier session, but was the fastest of hour long session by nearly a second a half. The closest man to Buncombe’s time was Rene Rast, the German part of the Phoenix Racing team with Rahel Frey and Laurens Vanthoor in almost certainly the strongest looking Audi line-up in the race.

Peter Kox was third fastest in the JBS Swift Lamborghini that Russell had driven so well in the opening session for the car.

Marc Cini’s Audi was fourth fastest and the il Bello Rosso Ferrari fifth after a lap from Australian motorsport legend Craig Lowndes.

The leaders of both Classes C and D repeated from the earlier session, Griffith Corporation’s Ginetta G50 leading Class C, Daytona Sportscars heading Class D.

Luke Youlden and Grant Denyer were the fastest drivers in Classes F and I respectively, both made up of three similar cars, Youlden heading the trio of Fiat Abarth 500, Denyer the three MARC Ford Focus entries in the invitation class.

The session was interrupted by a single red flag, brought out by the Cini Audi stopping on the Conrod Straight. However, the stoppages in the early sessions have claimed the Vicious Rumour Racing Ferrari 458, the damage from contact with the similar AF Corse car proving great enough to force the team (Tony DeFelice, Dean Canto, Tony D’Alberto and Renato Loberto) to withdraw from the race.

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