Dutch sports car star Jeroen Bleekemolen is the man to catch entering the competition end of Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia’s Bathurst round after posting the quickest time in Friday practice.
After reigning champion and current points leader Craig Baird topped the times in Thursday’s opening practice, Bleekemolen entered Friday’s second practice session with a new set of Michelin tyres; a move that enabled him to post a time of 2:10.8103 – almost a second clear of the field.
Davison was the second fastest driver in the session followed by Carrera Cup Australia debutant Ant Pedersen, Jonny Reid, Nick Foster, Daniel Gaunt, Steven Richards and Andre Heimgartner.
Bleekemolen believes there’s more pace to come from his – and everyone else’s – performance at Mount Panorama.
“I improved quite a lot today, getting more familiar with this car on this track. I think there’s even a bit more pace to come tomorrow, but everyone will go a lot faster,” said Bleekemolen.
“It felt very comfortable and I enjoyed it a lot because it’s such a nice track. We’re going to build up again tomorrow and hopefully get a couple more tenths out of it.”
Max Twigg was the best of the Elite Class drivers with the ninth quickest time from Shane Smollen, Tony Bates, James Koundouris, Troy Wilson, Ray Angus, Michael Loccisano, Marc Cini and Stephen Grove.
Twigg was pleased with his Friday pace and is hopeful he can remain with some of the Professional Class drivers when the Porsche championship lines up for its opening race on Saturday.
“We’re going to have great conditions tomorrow morning – it’s going to be early, there will be cool air and the track is going to be nice and easy to drive. Tomorrow will be good fun for me so hopefully I can qualify in a position where I get behind a couple of the pro drivers for the race.”
A notable absentee from Friday’s practice was Thursday pace-setter Craig Baird, who opted to sit out of the session after not having an adequate tyre bank to improve on his Thursday pace (with the field to receive new tyres for Saturday’s sessions).
Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia will feature qualifying and two races on Saturday, followed by the final race on Sunday.
Saturday October 06, 2012
8:45am Qualifying 20 minutes
12:15pm Race 1 9 laps (time certain)
5:30pm Race 2 9 laps
Sunday October 07, 2012
8:35am Race 3 9 laps (time certain)
Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia – Race 1 (live)
Date: Saturday October 06, 2012
Time: 12:10pm (AEST), 11:40am (ACST), 10:10am (AWST)
Porsche City Index Carrera Cup Australia – Race 3 (live)
Date: Sunday October 07, 2012
Time: 08:30am (AEST), 08:00am (ACST), 06:30am (AWST)
Carrera Cup Australia/V8 Supercars pairings
Craig Baird/Lee Holdsworth – #4 IRWIN Racing, FG Falcon
Steven Richards/Mark Winterbottom – #5 Orrcon Steel FPR, FG Falcon
Daniel Gaunt/Karl Reindler – #11 Fair Dinkum Sheds Racing, VE II Commodore
Alex Davison/James Moffat – #18 Team Norton DJR, FG Falcon
Jonny Reid/Michael Patrizi – #91 Tekno Autosports, VE II Commodore