09 February 2015

Bathurst Mount Panorama Lap Records rewritten

Laurens Vanthoor in his Audi R8 LMS Ultra (R Eime)

The Mount Panorama circuit in Central New South Wales has always been a great leveller. The steep upward climb and precipitous downward plunge, has humbled many of the world's great drivers.

Last weekend's Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour saw several historic milestones fall.

Two of the three Bentley Continental GT3s brought out from England to compete at Bathurst for the first time. (R Eime)

It was the first appearance of the Bentley marque at the mighty mountain, with the prestigious British brand sharing the lead at several times during the race, including the controversial dash to the finish.

It also saw the fastest qualifying time by a race car ever, including times laid down prior to the introduction of 'The Chase' in 1987, designed expressly to slow cars down on the long, downhill Conrod Straight.

Audi factory driver Laurens Vanthoor blasted his Audi R8 LMS Ultra around Mount Panorama in 2:02.5, eclipsing the time of 2:02.6701 set by Simon Hodge in an F3 Racing Car last year. The car continued its pace on race day with a lap record of 2:03.3091 (Lap 29) and finishing second outright.

Jensen Button at the wheel of his 2011 MP4 setting the fastest unofficial lap time around Bathurst (News Ltd)

The fastest unofficial time still stands at a mesmerising 1:48.88, set by Jensen Button in a publicity event for McLaren and Vodafone in a 2011 MP4 Formula One car.

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