Vernon and Caine Fastest in Class D after Friday Practice.

Vernon and Caine Fastest in Class D after Friday Practice.

Shockwave Signs Motorsport Toyota 86 leads the Class D battle after frantic opening day.

20170414_092105The last time Mark Caine and Jimmy Vernon teamed up in a long distance race, they set the bar very high for their fellow Class D competitors at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Today at Mount Panorama, they’ve raised the bar again, by recording the fastest time in Class D, in opening practice for Sunday’s Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour.

Neither driver had driven the Shockwave Signs Motorsport Toyota 86 GTS on this track prior to opening practice, which made today’s result all the more impressive, but the duo aren’t getting ahead of themselves, as they know Sunday is when it matters most.

Time was lost in both sessions due to on-track incidents that triggered red flags, but it hasn’t impacted the Shockwave Signs Motorsport team’s preparation for Sunday.

20170414_092124In both practice sessions, Vernon started the session, before handing over to Caine, who finished 10th last year with Chris Reeves.

Jimmy Vernon was unable to get a clear lap in the opening session. He spent his opening laps getting familiar with the car and circuit – whilst he has driven around the 6.213km track before, he’s never done it in a Toyota 86 – but couldn’t set a competitive time due to surrounding traffic.

When Mark Caine took to the circuit, he adapted very quickly, lapping in the 2:42’s almost immediately, and securing the fastest Class D time of opening practice in the process, by almost three seconds.

Their time in the opening session was good enough for 39th outright.

20170413_134536After lunch, Vernon took the car out first in Practice 2, found some clear track and immediately improved on his morning time, clocking a 2:42.732.

The second session suffered a lengthier delay than the first, when the Mitsubishi Evo of Aaron McGill found the wall in the dipper, bringing out the red flag for almost 20 minutes.

Upon resumption, Caine took the circuit, but was unable to improve on his morning time, clocking a 2:42.587.

After practice, both drivers commented on how much they enjoy driving the Toyota 86 around the Mountain, and how good they are to drive. Vernon said “What it doesn’t have in straight line speed, it makes up for in the corners.”
Caine added “There’s a little more [speed] in the kitty, but we’re in good sted for tomorrow. The car feels really strong, but there’s a long way to go”.

20170414_090331Traffic management was a problem for most competitors, with 66 cars making for a congested race track. Vernon described the traffic as managable, but frustrating.

All in all, the boys were happy campers – top of the class in both sessions, and eagerly awaiting qualifying, because as Mark Caine said, “that’s when it counts”.

2017 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour | Friday Practice
Shockwave Signs Motorsport | Toyota 86 GTS | Class D #37. Jimmy Vernon/Mark Caine
Session Outright Position Class Position Jimmy Vernon Mark Caine
Practice 1 39th 1st 2:49.799 2:42.013
Practice 2 37th 1st 2:42.732 2:42.587

2017 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour | Practice 1 | Class D Result

Outright In Class Number Drivers Car Time
39th 1st 37 Jimmy Vernon/Mark Caine Toyota 86 GTS 2:42.013
45th 2nd 49 Trent Grubel/David Crowe Toyota 86 GTS 2:44.719
47th 3rd 47 David Baker/Matthew Windsor Honda Integra 2:45.266
49th 4th 50 Trevor Keene/James Keene/Dominic Martens Mini Cooper 2:46.557
50th 5th 52 Graeme Heath/Joshua Heath Toyota 86 GTS 2:46.962
51st 6th 98 Daniel Williams/Kurt Metcalf/Daniel Sugden Toyota Camry 2:47.025
52nd 7th 86 Grant Phillips/Michele Abbate Toyota 86 GTS 2:47.250
54th 8th 39 David Bailey/Matt Thewlis Toyota 86 GTS 2:47.442
56th 9th 3 Chris Reeves/Chris Sutton Toyota 86 GTS 2:47.974
59th 10th 85 Declan Kirkham/Philip Kirkham/Aaron Cameron Mazda MX6 2:53.584
60th 11th 33 Peter Foote/Will Cauchi Nissan Pulsar 2:54.832
61st 12th 55 Michael Hopp/Peter Sortwell/Steven Pittman Eunos 30X 3:04.492
NC NC 9 Chris Manley/Lachlan Deagle/Duncan Harrison Toyota 86 GTS No Time


2017 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour | Practice 2 | Class D Result

Outright In Class Number Drivers Car Time
37th 1st 37 Jimmy Vernon/Mark Caine Toyota 86 GTS 2:42.567
40th 2nd 52 Graeme Heath/Joshua Heath Toyota 86 GTS 2:43.067
42nd 3rd 49 Trent Grubel/David Crowe Toyota 86 GTS 2:43.267
45th 4th 3 Chris Reeves/Chris Sutton Toyota 86 GTS 2:43.495
48th 5th 47 David Baker/Matthew Windsor Honda Integra 2:45.361
49th 6th 50 Trevor Keene/James Keene/Dominic Martens Mini Cooper 2:45.585
50th 7th 39 David Bailey/Matt Thewlis Toyota 86 GTS 2:45.762
53rd 8th 86 Grant Phillips/Michele Abbate Toyota 86 GTS 2:47.183
55th 9th 85 Declan Kirkham/Philip Kirkham/Aaron Cameron Mazda MX6 2:48.365
57th 10th 98 Daniel Williams/Kurt Metcalf/Daniel Sugden Toyota Camry 2:50.075
60th 11th 33 Peter Foote/Will Cauchi Nissan Pulsar 2:55.430
61st 12th 55 Michael Hopp/Peter Sortwell/Steven Pittman Eunos 30X 2:59.727
NC NC 9 Chris Manley/Lachlan Deagle/Duncan Harrison Toyota 86 GTS No Time

The 2017 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour continues tomorrow with the third and final practice session, ahead of Qualifying.

Vernon and Caine believe a 2:41 is possible when they head out in the Bottom 50% Qualifying session. Both drivers commented that, even on their fastest laps, they were baulked at some stage, leaving them confident that there’s more time in the car just yet.

The full schedule is below, and you can follow LIVE timing throughout the weekend, via the Bathurst 6 Hour website.

Event Schedule
Saturday 7:40am Practice 3 40 Minutes
Saturday 12:50pm Qualifying [Bottom 50%] 30 Minutes
Saturday 1:30pm Qualifying [Top 50%] 30 Minutes
Sunday 8:10am Warm-up 20 Minutes
Sunday 11:30am AEST 2017 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour 6 Hours + 1 Lap

 

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