Broc Feeney has reflected on a “gruelling” drive to fifth in the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
However, a drive-through penalty in the ninth hour for a pit stop infringement put the #888 Mercedes-AMG down a lap, and the Feeney/Shane van Gisbergen/Maximilian Gotz trio never really recovered from there.
It was a comedown from the highs which Feeney achieved on the afternoon prior, when he put the Supercheap Auto car on the front row and would have been credited with a new qualifying record if not for Maro Engel.
“Today we just struggled for race pace quite a lot,” said the 20-year-old.
“Maxi was really strong off the start this morning and during the first couple of stints, but then we faded a lot during the day.
“But it was tough – the double stints are really long in these cars, and it was gruelling and hot. I was glad to see the chequered flag.
“At the end, our pace was pretty similar to the guys on the podium, but we took too long to get there.
“Next year, we'll hopefully be more competitive.”
Gotz, a factory Mercedes-AMG driver, said, “Qualifying showed our potential but our race pace was not there quick enough.
“In the end, we suffered from our mistakes in terms of strategy and the pit lane penalty. We went a lap down and couldn't fight back.
“The competition is super high – everything needs to be perfect and it wasn't at some stages because of our pace.
“It is cool for the team to have one car on the Pro-Am podium [The #99 Mercedes-AMG of Jamie Whincup/Richie Stanaway/Prince Jefri Ibrahim], but we came here for more.
“Third was our target for the weekend – we couldn't manage it, so we will have to come back next year.”
Van Gisbergen was far from his best all weekend at Bathurst, but admitted he was at a loss to explain his performance.