The GT3 lap record at Bathurst’s Mount Panorama circuit remains unbeaten after last week’s Pirelli AGT SuperSprint event which provided competitors with the opportunity to challenge the existing lap record.
The inaugural Pirelli AGT SuperSprint event closed out the CAMS Australian GT Championship season on Thursday and Friday last week and gave teams almost four hours of track time.
No races or direct competition took place, but the four sessions of open running were available for teams to set outright lap times with an eye on the existing lap record, a 1:59.291 set by Christopher Mies in an Audi R8 LMS GT3 last year.
Three one-hour sessions were followed by a 40-minute ‘unrestricted’ session, where cars had to still comply with FIA GT3 regulations but didn’t have to run with any Balance of Performance adjustments.
Mies’ lap record remained untouched, with the best time of the event coming from Ben Barnicoat in the final session, with a 2:00.564 in 59Racing’s McLaren 720S GT3.
The battle for the top positions was between Barnicoat and Tom Blomqvist’s McLarens, the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evos of Mies and Australian GT champion Garth Tander, and a Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo for Shane van Gisbergen.
Mercedes-AMG’s 2020-spec GT3 Evo is yet to be fully homologated but is set to have its SRO Motorsports Group Balance of Performance finalized ahead of February’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
Changing weather conditions ahead of the final session hampered the lead contenders’ chances of setting a new lap record in the final unrestricted session, with a head-wind on the main straight and warmer weather conditions playing against their favor.
While Barnicoat set the best time in the final session, the second quickest car was van Gisbergen’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, over three seconds slower with a 2:03.879.
Third and fourth in the standings went to Mies and Tander’s Valvoline Audis.
Earlier in the event, Mies set the pace in the first session before van Gisbergen went quickest in the second and third sessions.