Michael Sheargold, Garth Walden and Brett Hobson will start tomorrow’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour from 10th position after a day of continued improvement aboard the RAM Motorsport/GWR Australia Mercedes AMG GT3.
While all three drivers admitted the car was not to their liking yesterday or this morning, some well-judged setup adjustments vastly enhanced the car’s handling characteristics for the final session, giving Walden and Hobson the confidence to attack in qualifying.
Walden drove the car in the Am driver segment of qualifying, with Hobson taking control for the Pro session; the drivers ended up fifth on combined times from the two sessions, well above their expectations.
In the Top 10 Shootout, Hobson found himself up against some of the best GT drivers in the world but still set times just fractions of a second slower than his rivals, securing the car’s top 10 position on the grid.
“It’s been a bit of a wild ride to get here, so it was exciting to get into the Shootout,” Hobson said.
“I had never done a Shootout before, so I was full of nerves at the start but I became more confident as I pressed on.”
Walden was pleased with the efforts of his team in tuning up the Mercedes over the last two days.
“The car didn’t roll out as nice as we hoped; obviously it’s a new car so we’re coming to terms with it,” Walden said.
“By the time we got to Practice 6, it felt a lot better and we were very happy to qualify in the top 10. It’s a long day tomorrow, so our grid position doesn’t really bother us.”
“I think everyone has been feeling much more comfortable with the car’s window since we made some changes – it’s a lot more predictable, so all three of us should be able to do consistent lap times tomorrow,” Sheargold said.
The Bathurst 12 Hour is scheduled to commence at 5:15am tomorrow.