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Thrilling Bathurst 6 Hour falls to BMW trio

THE Secure Wealth Advisers BMW M4 of Simon Hodges, Jayden Ojeda and George Miedecke has won the 2024 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour after another thrilling conclusion to the production car marathon.

The race appeared to be in the hands of the Bruce Lynton Service BMW M3 of Beric Lynton/Tim Leahey/Will Davison until a gearbox issue for Davison inside the final half an hour helped deliver Ojeda the race win.

Ojeda and Hodges become the first back-to-back winners of the Bathurst 6 Hour, in what was the closest 1-2 and 1-2-3 finish in the history of the race.

It’s the second year in a row the 24-year-old talent from Sydney has had to charge from behind to win the production car classic.

The race was a thriller at the end as Ojeda fended off Supercars stars Davison and later Thomas Randle to claim the win.

Davison had a reoccurrence of the gearbox issue after the 12th and final restart, with the Yellow Pages/Race for a Cure BMW M2 Competition of Michael Kavich/Ben Kavich/Thomas Randle sweeping by to claim second, with the Lynton M3 rounding out the podium.

The second half of the race began with the day’s seventh Safety Car period, as the Class D Beller Motorsport Toyota 86 expired on the exit of The Cutting in a big cloud of smoke on lap 68.

The short Safety Car period caught out the Megalife Ford Mustang Mach 1 Mustang of Jason Gomersall/Aaron Seton/Ben Gomersall, which lost a lap in the pits executing a driver change.

The next Safety Car period proved to be a pivotal moment in the race, as one of the key contenders for the outright victory was handed a penalty for passing under safety car conditions.

After the Class C Rent4Race BMW 330i of Cameron Laws/Elliot Cleary/Cody Gillis ground to a halt on the exit of Griffins Bend, the Cameron Crick/Dean Campbell BMW M2 Competition was given a 15-second penalty to be served at a green flag pit stop.

Crick then put the hammer down in an attempt to make up the time, engaging in a heated battle with Ojeda as the two battled fiercely with well over two hours left to run.

Ojeda heads Davison and Randle. The runner-up and third-place positions were reversed before race’s end. Photo: Nathan Wong/Bathurst 6 Hour.

Crick was on the verge of getting that 15 second margin when the Class E RaceAway Track Time Mazda 3 of Scott Tidyman/Ben Shaw/Seth Gilmore tagged the fence at Forrest’s Elbow and came to rest alongside Conrod Straight on lap 86.

The race appeared to come back to the DA Campbell Transport entry when the 10th Safety Car of the day was called on lap 101 when Ryder Quinn had a frightening crash after losing the rear of the Game Over Ford Mustang that was leading Class A2 going through Reid Park and spearing head on into the wall.

The DA Campbell  Transport entry then went into limp mode during the resulting Safety Car, ultimately consigning the Crick/Campbell entry to 24th outright at the finish, nine laps off the pace.

Behind the outright podium in a remarkable fourth place was the A1 class-winning Harding Performance Volkswagen Golf R of Cem Yucel/Iain Salteri, an entry that overcame a 15-second penalty early in the race in what was an otherwise faultless run.

What turned into a race of attrition in Class A2 honours was won by the Mustang of Gomersall/Seton/Gomersall in fifth outright.

The Statewide Oil Chevrolet Camaro of Chris Lillis/Josh Muggleton/Nathan Callaghan had looked set to claim Class A2 honours before an issue with their refuelling tower at their final scheduled stop meant no fuel could be put into the car. They eventually were able to sort the issue and finished 12th overall and fourth in A2.

Class B was won by the all-female crew of Karlie Buccini/Courtney Prince/Suzanne Palermo, with the Team Buccini Racing BMW 135i finishing a very creditable 10th outright.

Class C went to the Ares Group and Trackday Racing HSV VXR of Pieter Faulkner and Matt Slavin in 15th outright.

The battle for Class D was won by the Next Step Earthworks Toyota 86 of Mitchell Wooller and Tim Barwick in 16th outright.

And in Class E, an overnight rebuild by the 1800 Lasagne/LK Diesel Services team after a crash in Practice Three was rewarded with a class victory, as the Andrew Jackman/Mark Taubitz/Jamie Westaway combination finished in 27th outright.

The overall attendance for the 2024 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour was 18,033, the third-largest crowd in the history of the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour.

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