Toni Vilander will start Sunday’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour from the pole, after storming to the Allan Simonsen Pole Trophy in the Pirelli Top 10 Shootout at Mt. Panorama.
The Ferrari factory driver, who was the last of the cars to set a time, courtesy of his pace-setting lap in qualifying, reeled off a 2:02.861 lap time in his No. 88 Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 in the sun-drenched session.
Vilander edged out the No. 90 MARC Cars Australia BMW M6 GT3 of Chaz Mostert by 0.194 seconds for the team’s second Bathurst 12 Hour pole, and first since the death of their former driver, Simonsen.
The Finn will share driving duties in tomorrow’s around-the-clock enduro with V8 Supercars stars Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup.
Marco Wittmann made it two BMWs in the top-three, with the two-time DTM champion setting a 2:03.249 in the heat of the day in his No. 60 BMW Team SRM entry, followed by Ashley Walsh, who will start a surprise fourth in the No. 35 Miedecke Stone Motorsport Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3.
Maxime Soulet completed the top-five overall in the No. 8 Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3, ahead of defending race winner Alvaro Parente in the No. 1 Tekno Autosports McLaren 650S GT3.
Matt Campbell, in his first race as a Porsche Junior, put the No. 12 Competition Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R on the GT3 Pro-Am class pole, qualifying ninth overall, while Mostert’s second quickest overall time was the best of the Am category competitors.
Scorching temperatures, upwards of 90 degrees Fahrenheit, saw slower-than-expected times in the Top 10 Shootout, compared to initial projections, especially after cooler and partly cloudy conditions in final practice.
The No. 4 Grove Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car claimed B class pole, thanks to a 2:07.532 lap time set by Ben Barker.
Other class pole-sitters include the No. 48 M-Motorsport KTM X-Bow GT4 (Class C) and the No. 65 Daytona Sportscars Dodge Viper Competition Coupe (Invitational).
The Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour gets underway Sunday at 5:45 a.m. local time (Saturday, 1:45 p.m. ET), with live coverage on NISMO.tv and Bathurst12hour.com.au.
RESULTS: Top 10 Shootout