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Grove crashes out of Bathurst 12 Hour

GROVE Racing’s Bathurst 12 Hour campaign has ended with a heavy crash at McPhillamy Park for a second successive year.

The #4 Pro-Am Class Porsche caused the first Safety Car intervention just past the two hour mark of the 2023 race when Stephen Grove came unstuck at the top of the Mountain.

Replays showed the Porsche make rear-on contact with the wall on driver’s left before a second hit into the right-side barrier at Brock’s Skyline.

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Grove had been running 13th outright and fifth in Pro-Am at the time having taken over the controls of the car from son Brenton.

The early crash means Supercars star Anton De Pasquale will not get a drive in the race.

Commenting immediately after the incident, Brenton Grove suggested his father had received contact from the #222 Scott Taylor Motorsport Mercedes.

“I think he got hit by (Alex) Davison is all we can see at the moment, and there’s some big penalties for Pros hitting Ams, especially across the top,” he said.

“If that’s what happened, I hope it gets dealt with properly.”

Race stewards investigated the incident but ruled that no further action needed to be taken.

Earlier, Davison told V8 Sleuth that no contact occurred.

“One hundred percent no contact, he spun by himself in front of me,” said Davison.

“I happened to be quite close (behind), but we were nowhere near having contact.”

Davison however felt Brenton Grove should have been penalised for an earlier collision between the two cars at Griffin’s Bend on lap five.

“He crashed straight into the back of me and nearly spun us out,” said Davison.

“We were lucky not to get serious damage and I don’t know why he didn’t get a penalty.

“It was ridiculous, he drove over the grass on the inside. I virtually spun but just held it and didn’t spin.

“I then lost a lot of time because I was unsure if the car was damaged, so I dawdled around until I had confidence that nothing was going to break.”

While the Scott Taylor Motorsport Mercedes continues in the race, the Grove Porsche is severely worse for wear.

“I think it’s pretty cooked,” said Brenton of the car.

“Last year unfortunately we had an incident in the same place and pretty much the same damage and that was a write-off.

“We haven’t had much luck at the Mountain recently, but that’s racing.

“I don’t think we’ll be able to get the car back out but the most important part is that dad’s ok and we’ll regroup and go to South Africa in a couple of weeks.”

Grove Racing announced earlier this weekend that it will contest the full, five-round Intercontinental GT Challenge this year.

That will include De Pasquale at the Spa 24 Hour in July and the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi in December.

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