JBS Australia’s Lamborghini Gallardo topped opening practice for Sunday’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, in a session that saw a heavy and potential weekend-ending accident for the defending race winners.
The No. 23 entry of David Russell was quickest in the 60-minute session, reeling off a best lap of 2:05.923 in his Lambo he’ll share with Steve Owen and team owner Roger Lago.
Russell’s time was 0.487 seconds quicker than the No. 88 Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 of Tony D’Alberto, who crashed heavy in the closing minutes with the No. 99 Craft-Bamboo Racing Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3.
Both D’Alberto and Craft-Bamboo’s Jean-Marc Merlin appear to be OK, although the Ferrari sustained heavy front-end damage from the crash and is questionable for the remainder of the weekend.
The Maranello-entered Ferrari claimed top honors in last year’s race with Craig Lowndes, John Bowe, Peter Edwards and Mika Salo, the Finn also being part of the lineup this weekend.
The session did not restart due to an extensive cleanup required at Forrest’s Elbow.
The No. 35 NISMO Athlete Global Team Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 was third quickest overall and the best of the Pro-Am competitors in Class A.
The top-five overall was completed by the No. 27 T F M – Ferrari Motorsport NZ Ferrari and No. 36 Erebus Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3.
Friday’s second practice session gets underway at 11:25 a.m. local.
RESULTS: Practice 1