Ferrari Team Maranello Motorsport will start tomorrow’s Bathurst 12-Hour from pole position, with the team’s Ferrari 488 GT3 setting the pace over the weekend to date.
With Finnish driver Toni Vilander at the wheel, the 488 captured the Allan Simonsen Pole Award with a 2m02.861s pass over the Mt Panorama circuit.
For the first time, a top-ten shootout was used to determine the first ten starting places for the main race - a concept perhaps more familiar to race fans at Bathurst in October.
And as the clouds rolled in towards the end of the session, Vilander took advantage of the more favourable conditions.
“The conditions were quite difficult out there, really hot track temperature,” Vilander said.
“We were seeking the right tyre pressure to get the right setting for the car for this but also for the race this is a key moment for tomorrow afternoon as well. I’m really happy, happy to be with these two legends here so, we are looking strong for tomorrow.”
The ‘legends’ Vilader refers to are Bathurst 1000 winners Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes, who are also Triple Eight drivers in the Supercars Australia touring car series. Lowndes won the 12-Hour previously - in 2014 driving Maranello’s ‘old’ car, the Ferrari 458.
Upon receiving the Allan Simonsen award, Vilander said emotions were running high.
“I must admit, some strong emotions went through when I saw the trophy,” Vilander said.
“I saw Allan for the first time in 1994 when I raced in Denmark and at the race where he had the issue, with the big accident and I talked with him on the grid so it’s not an easy moment.”
Driver Chaz Mostert piloted one of the BMW M6s to second on the grid for tomorrow’s race with a time of 2m03.055s.
The second row will consist of the Richards/Winterbottom/Wittmann BMW M6 (2m03.249s) and the surprisingly-quick #35 Aston Martin Vantage (2m03.823s).
The race gets underway at 05:45 tomorrow.
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