TOM Sargent clocked the second fastest qualifying lap in Bathurst 6 Hour history on Saturday afternoon to claim pole position for the Mount Panorama enduro in emphatic fashion.
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The 20-year-old from Young had topped the timesheet in the final practice session on Saturday morning behind the wheel of the Tegra Australia BMW M2 Competition and backed that up during afternoon qualifying, clocking a 2:24.2369 on his second lap.
It was the fastest qualifier since Tim Leahey's 2:22.904 effort to grab pole in 2018, Sargent's co-driver Cameron Hill delighted as he watched on from the garage.
"This was our dream to come here with a car like this," Hill said.
"This build has been massive ... I'm just so stoked to see the outcome on track."
Twelve months ago Sargent was not in outright calculations when it came to the 6 Hour, but took out Class D honours alongside Lachlan Mineeff in a Toyota 86.
This time he's behind the wheel of something much more powerful - a newly built BMW M2 Competition which is making its racing debut in the 6 Hour.
It helped him to trump a field that included Supercars stars in qualifying.
Sargent's flyer was 1.09 seconds faster that any other car in the top 50 percent qualifying session, one dominated by the X Class BMWs which filled positions one to nine.
David Russell ensured the Btuned Euro Specialist BMW M4 will start on the front row with a 2:25.3327, with Tim Slade (BMW M3), Anton de Pasquale (BMW M4) and Dalton Ellery (BMW M3) rounding out the top five.
While Sargent set the Mount Panorama circuit on fire during qualifying, for Bathurst driver Dean Campbell it was case of bouncing back after literally being on fire.
Having caught the racing bug last year, Campbell decided the 6 Hour was the perfect race in which to make his home circuit debut.
He is one if the A1 Class entries, steering the #118 DA Transport Mitsubishi Lancer Evo alongside Cameron Crick.
"It's my second year in racing, I've done New South Wales Production Cars, but it's my debut at Bathurst," Campbell said.
"Why wouldn't you drive at Bathurst?
"He's [Crick] teaching me, I'm his co-driver really. I got to know him through racing guys and we just became friends and it came from there, he's involved in trucks as well."
There was a nervous moment on Friday afternoon for Campbell, Crick and their crew when the Evo burst into flames in Pit Lane during the second practice session.
Thankfully the flames were quickly extinguished and the damage was only minor.
"We had a problem with the overflow [tank] and when it overflowed and the speed limiter kicked back in, it lit the trickle that was along the overflow," Campbell explained.
"It was a problem with the tank, we had a new fuel system, so we've rectified that. It didn't do much damage, to be honest it burnt two wires and there was a little bit of cosmetic damage.
"It was a bit scary, there were some big flames, but it didn't do that much damage at all."
The team was back on track for Saturday's morning's practice session and were third fastest in class and 11th outright with a 2:30.5334.
Then in qualifying later that afternoon, Crick produced a quicker 2:30.0787 to rank third in class and 15th outright.
But for Campbell, the main aim for his 6 Hour debut is to be listed amongst the finishers on Sunday evening.
"Get to finish, to be honest that's the main goal, if we do well in class or outright, wherever we end up we end up, but to bring it back straight would be nice," he said.
Of the other Bathurst hopefuls in the enduro, the A1 Class Subaru of Brad Schumacher qualified 14th in class after rectifying brake issues which hampered them in practice, while the A2 Class Ford Mustang Grant Denyer shares with Tony Quinn was second in class and an impressive 14th outright.
The fastest qualifiers across the classes were: X Class Sargent (BMW M2); A1 Class Dylan O'Keeffe (Mercedes A45 AMG); A2 Class Aaron Cameron (Ford Mustang); B Class Mark Mallard (Holden SSV); C Class Jake Camilleri (Mazda 3 MPS); D Class James Keene (Mini R56) and E Class Andrew McMaster (Mazda 3 SP25).
The Bathurst 6 Hour starts at 11.15am Sunday.
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