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HomeNewsBathurstRain looms as Porsche leads halfway into Bathurst 12 Hour

Rain looms as Porsche leads halfway into Bathurst 12 Hour

PORSCHE retained its hold on the lead of the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour with showers threatening to wash over Mount Panorama as the race reached its halfway point.

The #912 Manthey EMA Porsche of Matt Campbell, Laurens Vanthoor and Ayhancan Güven has led all but the opening stint of the race so far, leading the surviving #46 Team WRT BMW of Maxime Martin, Raffaelle Marciello and Valentino Rossi and the #22 Jamec Pem MPC Audi of Christopher Haase, Markus Winkelhock and Liam Talbot.

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The second quarter of the race featured multiple Safety Car periods, one of which marked the exit of the polesitting #32 BMW.

The race’s second Safety Car period came early in the fourth hour when Hadrian Morrall crashed the Invitational Class-leading #91 MARC II on the exit of Griffins Bend as the leaders were completing Lap 88.

The Full Course Yellow procedure at the start of the SC period prompted the bulk of the frontrunners to all pit, putting the race-leading #912 Porsche onto the same fuel strategy as the pursuing Team WRT BMWs.

Christopher Haase and Kenny Habul stayed out initially in the #22 Audi and #75 Mecedes respectively, but both headed to pitlane on successive laps, restoring Campbell to the race lead.

The race went green for only a handful of laps before the Safety Car was back out again, this time after contact between the Pro-Am class leading #911 Porsche and the second-placed #48 Mercedes-AMG at McPhillamy Park sent Yasser Shahin backwards into the gravel.

Several of the Mercedes-AMGs elected to pit for fuel, including the #888 Triple Eight, #130 GruppeM, #77 Craft-Bamboo and #75 SunEnergy1 cars, dropping them to the bottom of the top 10.

The big beneficiary of the Mercedes stops was the #13 Phantom Global Porsche, vaulting to fourth place as it mirrored the fuel strategy of the Manthey EMA cars.

Campbell rebuilt his lead when the race resumed on Lap 104, and it hovered around the seven-second mark as they closed on the next round of pitstops.

The Audis began to march forward too; Kelvin van der Linde took advantage of a bobble at Forrest’s Elbow by Jaxon Evans in the #13 Porsche to slip past into fourth place at the Chase.

Traffic troubles for the WRT BMWs on Lap 119 not only allowed Campbell to extend his margin out to almost nine seconds, but helped Mikaël Grenier and Maro Engel tack onto the tail of the train, nullifying their time lost for pitting under the previous Safety Car.

However, the BMW challenge was halved a couple of laps later when Charles Weerts tangled with the GT4-class #56 Ginetta entering the Cutting, the contact sending the #32 car backwards into the wall and into retirement.

The leaders all headed to the pitlane once again, Vanthoor hopping aboard the #912 Porsche and Rossi getting into the #46 BMW.

Vanthoor kept the Porsche ahead on the restart, Rossi hanging onto the back of the ‘Grello’ machine until the 911’s tyres came up to temperature, after which it steadily built a margin of some four seconds.

Another of the likely contenders encountered trouble in the middle of the sixth hour.

Felipe Fraga in the #130 GruppeM Mercedes-AMG, having recovered to seventh from a pitlane penalty levied early in the fourth hour, slowed with apparent engine problems on Lap 134.

However, some adjustments to the electronic controls on the steering wheel appeared to clear the issue, and the Brazilian carried on having lost just the one position.

The Safety Car came out once again on Lap 137 when the repaired Ginetta crashed at the Dipper, limping its way to the kink at the top of Conrod Straight.

It once again prompted the leading group to head to the pits, with Güven taking over the controls of the leading Porsche.

The skies turned grey over Mount Panorama as the halfway point approached, with showers headed towards the circuit from the west.

Bathurst 12 Hour standings after 6 hours

No.DriversClassCarTime/Laps
1912L Vanthoor / Güven / CampbellProPorsche144 laps
246Rossi / Martin / MarcielloProBMW+2.2982s
322Talbot / Haase / K van der LindeProAudi+2.5584s
4888Feeney / Brown / GrenierProMercedes-AMG+3.2258s
513Eriksson / Evans / BuusProPorsche+3.9704s
677Juncadella / Ojeda / GötzProMercedes-AMG+6.7457s
775Habul / Gounon / StolzProMercedes-AMG+7.9493s
82Schumacher / Winkelhock / FellerProAudi+9.1028s
9130Engel / Fraga / ReynoldsProMercedes-AMG+9.71s
1088Whincup / Love / IbrahimPro-AmMercedes-AMG+12.8136s
1127Riberas / Gunn / JamesPro-AmMercedes-AMG+15.5343s
1248Wood / Le Brocq / Walden / McMillanPro-AmMercedes-AMG+16.9683s
13222Waters / Lowndes / RandleProMercedes-AMG+18.144s
14911Picariello / King / ShahinPro-AmPorsche+35.5316s
1544Zalloua / Pires / Youlden / ShielsSilverAudi+42.988s
1693D’Alberto / Wall / Denyer / DeitzPro-AmLamborghini+1 lap
179Holdsworth / Fiore / CiniPro-AmAudi+2 laps
1810Percat / Hill / HolingerInvitationalIRC+2 laps
1947J Koundouris / T Koundouris / Russell / WebbSilverMercedes-AMG+2 laps
20702Stutterd / Tracy / Emery / TwiggInvitationalIRC+6 laps
2125Flack / Mostert / BryanGT4McLaren+10 laps
2219Griffith / Christodoulou / BilskiGT4Mercedes-AMG+11 laps
23230Hayman / McLennan / SchutteGT4McLaren+11 laps
24111Currie / Gray / DonaldsonInvitationalMARC+15 laps
2520Sbirrazzuoli / Jilesen / HargravesInvitationalIRC+21 laps
DNF32Weerts / D Vanthoor / S van der LindeProBMW120 laps
27701Amrouche / Boillot / BonnelInvitationalVortex+34 laps
DNF91Kassulke / McLeod / Morrall / SladeInvitationalMARC85 laps
DNF56Buccini / Zerefos / White / HizzeyGT4Ginetta83 laps
300NTR
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