Vilander Holds Lead With Four Hours to Go

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

A three-way battle for the lead has developed between Ferrari, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche with four hours remaining in the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

Toni Vilander is out front in the No. 88 Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3, with a slowly expanding 18-second gap over the second-placed No. 22 Mercedes-AMG Team STM Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Craig Baird.

Reigning FIA World Endurance Champion Marc Lieb runs in third overall, and leading the GT3 Pro-Am class in the No. 12 Competition Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R.

All three cars have exchanged the lead over the course of the race, and have benefitted from misfortune from a number of other GT3 cars that have since dropped out of contention.

The No. 24 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 lost three laps in the eighth hour with gearbox issues, while all three BMWs have hit trouble after a promising pre-race buildup for the German manufacturer.

Guy Smith runs fourth overall in the No. 17 Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3, still on the lead lap, but nearly 30 seconds behind, with the No. 912 Walkinshaw Porsche in fifth, after a charge from John Martin.

There’s been a total of 12 safety car periods so far, nearly all for accidents or stationary cars, in what’s been an incident-filled two-thirds of the race.

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