Vanthoor Raises Phoenix To Lead Second Session

by James Broomhead
2015 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour (Credit: Race Torque Media)

Laurens Vanthoor snuck under the 2:05 barrier to lap the Mount Panorama Circuit in 2:04.987 to lead the second free practice session for the 2015 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

Vanthoor, who shares one of the two factory backed Phoenix Racing Audis in the race with Marco Mapelli and Markus Winkelhock, set the lap with just 6 minutes of the hour long session remaining. His lap, which surpassed the first session time of David Russell, topped Katsumasa Chiyo from the top of the times.

The Japanese driver had taken the Pro-Am GT3 class to the lead at the half way point in the session, initially holding a 1.6 second advantage over Erebus Motorsport’s Dean Canto. Chiyo’s time (2:05.387) was second fastest at the end of the session, four tenths slower than Vanthoor’s marker.

The pair, who led the Pro-Am and Am parts of the GT3 class respectively were part of an overall top five split between five different manufacturers with the #33 Clearwater Racing Ferrari of Toni Vilander, the Steven Kane driven Bentley Continental GT3 and the #36 Mercedes Canto briefly had in the lead of the session completing the group.

Kane was a late arrival in the upper echelons of the session, though both of the factory Bentley’s had been among those to set fast laps in the opening minutes of the session before action was halted by a red flag.

The JBS Australia Lamborghini that Russell put atop the opening session was eighth fastest, more than three seconds behind the new benchmark for the weekend.

The Grove Group Porsche – with a driver line-up that includes Luke Youlden and Porsche Supercup man Ben Barker topped Class B, in 22nd overall. The ever popular Daytona Coupe replica was the best of the Class D entrants in 29th, the #93 V8 MARC Focus was fastest among the Class I runners, as it had been in the first session while Aston Martin Saint Gallen team were the best of the GT4-spec runners that make up Class C.

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