12 H. of Bathurst - Engel wins second Simonsen Trophy with new record

4 Feb. 2023 • 7:22
Photo : Mercedes-AMG

A record-breaking Maro Engel has powered to pole position to secure his second Allan Simonsen Trophy. Engel defeated Broc Feeney and Matt Campbell in a thrilling Pirelli Top 10 Shootout. The #999 GruppeM Mercedes-AMG driver reset his own 12 Hour lap record en route to pole.


Engel clocked a stunning 2:00.8819s to undercut his qualifying record — a 2:01.0836s — set earlier on Saturday. The German driver was forced to stave off an impressive riposte from Feeney, who had to reins of the #888 Supercheap Auto Mercedes. Campbell, the 2020 pole winner, threw his name into the discussion late on.


Prior to Engel’s final flyer, the top three were covered by just 0.08s.

However, Engel turned up the wick and clocked the first 2:00s lap in 12 Hour history.


“It’s amazing,” Engel said. “I’m lost for words. The grip level this weekend has been amazing. Big, big thank you to the team, to these guys [co-drivers Raffaele Marciello and Mikael Grenier] for trusting me. And to the team for an amazing car, it was a pleasure.”


Track conditions seemed to have deteriorated since qualifying earlier in the day, when Engel set his record lap. Aaron Cameron (#74 Mercedes-AMG) set the early pace in the first group with a 2:03.7168s. Mattia Drudi (#74 Audi) and Maxime Martin (#46 BMW) then dropped into the 2:02s with a 2:02.7225s and 2:02.8966s respectively. Martin backed it up with a 2:02.5083s, before Drudi went faster again on a 2:02.2197s.


Mostert began to throw down the gauntlet, with the Supercars star jumping to second with a 2:02.2609s. With just over a minute remaining, Mostert jumped into the 2:01s with a 2:01.8860s. Mostert went again and undercut his own benchmark by a scant 0.017s with a 2:01.8694s. Mostert 0.3503s to the good over Drudi, with Martin, Cameron and Daniel Juncadella (#77 Mercedes-AMG) second through fifth.


Drudi was later revealed to be under investigation over Shootout procedure once the final five rolled out. Feeney fired to the top with a 2:01.6716s in the early minutes of the second segment. Gounon bowled a wide at The Chase and surrendered his first flyer as Engel jumped to top spot on a 2:01.2531s.

Feeney went on with it and went purple in the first sector, and jumped back to the top with a 2:01.1945s. Gounon recovered and jumped to third with a 2:01.4675s, but Engel went quicker again with a 2:01.0896s.


The riposte from Feeney continued, with the 20-year-old’s 2:01.0983s just 0.0087s off Engel’s benchmark. Campbell jumped to third, and when the chequered flag flew, the closest margin for the Simonsen Trophy looked set to fall.

However, Engel powered to his 2:00.8819s to put 0.2164s on Feeney, with Campbell a further 0.0747s behind. Gounon was fourth, some 0.4s behind Engel, with Dries Vanthoor (#32 BMW) fifth on a 2:01.7241s.


Sunday’s LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour will commence at 5:45am local time.


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