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Mercedes hobbled after rapid Bathurst qualifying

The Mercedes teams have been dealt a hefty Balance of Performance blow ahead of the Bathurst 12 Hour tomorrow.

#999 GruppeM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3: Maro Engel, Mikael Grenier, Raffaele Marciello

The AMGs were clearly the class of the field in qualifying today with GruppeM driver Maro Engel and Triple Eight young gun Broc Feeney battling it out for pole.

A rapid final lap from Engel sealed the Allan Simonsen Pole Award, his 2m00.881s the fastest ever lap for a GT3 car around Mount Panorama.

Matt Campbell was the best-performing driver outside of the Mercedes camp, putting his Porsche third on the grid with a time two-tenths adrift of Engel's pole.

The best BMW was eight-tenths adrift of pole while the best-placed Audi was nine-tenths slower than Engel's benchmark.

SRO has responded with a raft of Balance of Performance changes that will take effect ahead of tomorrow's round-the-clock race.

Mercedes is set to be smacked with 10 kilograms of additional weight as well as revised lambda settings.

The Porsches will cop an extra five kilograms of weight while the Audis and BMWs will be able to drop 10 kilograms.

There is also set to be a change to the minimum tyre pressure which was mandated at 1.4 bar when leaving pitlane.

That will be replaced with a 1.85 bar minimum measured when the tyres are hot (after eight laps of green flag running).

The Bathurst 12 Hour kicks off at 5:45am Sunday morning local time.

Watch the race live and free on Motorsport.tv (not available to viewers in Australia or New Zealand).

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