HE did the tricky work scrubbing tyres in wet and slippery conditions, but Brad Schumacher was still one of the fastest GT World Challenge Australia amateur drivers on track at Mount Panorama on Friday.
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Running his newly upgraded Audi R8 for the first time on his home circuit as part of the inaugural Bathurst International event, Schumacher was pleased with what he achieved in the practice session.
While the other top teams elected to start the session with their professional drivers such as Jamie Whincup, Broc Feeney and Michael Caruso, Schumacher was not daunted by doing that job.
He scrubbed and warmed up the tyres, set a good lap time, then handed over to his team-mate, Supercars regular Tim Slade.
"We decided I would go out first, just primarily because there's no reason why I can't go out there and do the hard work and get the tyres scrubbed in for Tim," Schumacher said.
"That allowed him to begin working on some reference laps that we can go back and look at together and work together to bring our times down in the next session."
Schumacher got quicker as the session went on. His best lap came on his seventh trip around the circuit, clocking a 2:30.6086.
"It was a bit slippery actually, but first time out on shiny wets, obviously you've got to scrub them and get the temperature and the pressures into the tyres," he said.
"Once it got to the end of my stint I started to get down [in time] quite a bit, which against the amateur drivers was quite good, we're happy with that, you don't win the race on Friday."
What Schumacher is hoping to win is both Sunday's three hour race and the 2022 GT Endurance Championship, a contest in which he currently sits second.
The man who Schumacher is aiming to leapfrog in Sunday's season finale is Triple Eight driver Prince Jefri Ibrahim.
He was the quickest amateur in practice, doing a 2:27.0199 in the Mercedes AMG he will share with Feeney in the three hour enduro.
Feeney started the session and did a 2:24.6174 before he handed over to Ibrahim, who got 11 laps.
Ibrahim said that if he can finish ahead of Schumacher to win the endurance championship it will be a 'bonus'. His main aim is to get more lap time at Mount Panorama ahead of a bigger endurance challenge at the famous circuit.
"With the GT Endurance championship, first of all, I have to just try to win the race. If we do that, then it is a bonus," Ibrahim said.
"I am not too focused on the championship, I want to just have a good race, try to be fast out there and hopefully do the best I can.
"I think it is crucial to get as many laps as I can before the next 12 Hour [at] Bathurst, especially as it is only available to us a few times of the year.
"So this weekend will be good prep for next year. I am trying to make the most out it and learn as much as I can ... and hopefully improve."
Schumacher did eight laps in the practice session, handing over to give team-mate Slade the final 13 minutes behind the wheel of the #55 Audi.
Slade clocked a best lap of 2:26.7608 to rank fifth for the session. It was seven-times Supercars champion Whincup who went the quickest with a 2:23.9946.
"The car feels good, ran well after all the upgrades. We did some procedural stuff, got our pit stop transit time sort for our dash logger and a few driver comfort things sorted," Schumacher said.
"It's really about getting comfortable in the car, shaking down the car."
The next session for Schumacher and Slade is qualifying, which will commence at 10.05am Saturday morning.
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