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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Marciello Tops Incident-Filled Opening Practice at Bathurst

Marciello quickest in incident-filled morning at Bathurst…

Photo: John Dagys

The No. 999 GruppeM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Raffaele Marciello led the way in an incident-filled opening practice for Sunday’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

Marciello topped the times with a 2:04.969 lap, edging out the No. 27 HubAuto Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 by 0.396 seconds.

The No. 2 Team Vavoline Audi R8 LMS was third quickest in the stop-start session, that saw two lengthy red flag periods for heavy accidents.

The first came when Tim Pappas lost control of his No. 540 Black Swan Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R exiting the high-speed Chase, which made heavy rear-end contact with the barrier.  

Pappas has been transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. 

A two-car incident between the No. 51 Spirit of Race Ferrari of Paul Dalla Lana and Shane van Gisbergen’s No. 888 Team Vodafone Mercedes, meanwhile, resulted in a second red. 

Dalla Lana’s car is reported to have also sustained heavy damage.

A third accident, also at the bottom of the Chase, saw the No. 3 Melbourne Performance Centre Audi of Pete Storey make contact with the barriers as well. 

It came during the opening practice session of the weekend, which was reserved for Bronze and Silver-rated drivers only.

Practice 3 gets underway at 11:10 a.m. local time. 

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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