Foreign cars lead Bathurst 12Hour practice

The internationals have taken an early grip on the Bathurst 12 Hour as Audi and BMW traded blows on a shortened practice day at Mount Panorama.

Belgian Frederic Vervisch and Germany's Marco Wittmann set the pace on Friday, with Vervisch recording the fastest opening day lap in Bathurst 12 Hour history.

The final session was cut more than 10 minutes short following a 280km/h crash at the high speed chase involving the Scott Taylor Motorsport Mercedes and Baigent Motorsport BMW M4 GT4.

Vervisch, teaming up with former Supercars Champion Garth Tander and South African Kelvin van der Linde, is making his debut at the event which is part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge.

"Everything is going good. It's difficult to see the real pace of everyone and the second thing is you have to have a clear lap as well," the 31-year-old said.

"Not bad, for a first time for sure better than I expected so it's good to be in front, but you want to be there on Sunday.

"The car is really nice, we did some improvements from earlier in the day to now and I'm more comfortable and confident, it's really cool. Like everybody describes its really nice."

Vervisch said the track knowledge of Tander had helped the two rookie Bathurst internationals.

"I think we have a really strong line-up, we all three are on a really strong pace," he said.

"Obviously it's very nice to have Garth as a teammate, he knows the track well, we did a track walk yesterday and he really gave us some good indications which obviously helped today."

The Audi finished 0.2518 seconds clear of Tickford Racing's Chaz Mostert, BMW's Wittmann and early pacesetter, Brazilian DTM ace Augusto Farfus, in a BMW M6 GT3.

Former Australian GT Champion Chris Mies took his Audi R8 to third spot. Mies is teamed with Germany's Christopher Haase and former GT world champion Markus Winklehock.