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Bathurst 12H

AF Corse Leads After Three Hours in Bathurst

Phoenix Audi dominates opening hours at Bathurst…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

AF Corse’s Michele Rugolo is out front with three hours complete in the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

The No. 77 Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 holds a 20-second lead over the No. 27 TFM Ferrari of Jono Lester, with both Ferraris yet to pit during the most recent cycle.

Marco Mapelli runs third overall in the pole-sitting No. 15 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra, which has so far dominated the early stages of the race.

Co-driver Markus Winkelhock led the field to the green and stretched out an impressive gap over the No. 35 NISMO Global Athlete Team Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 early.

The Nissan, now in the hands of Florian Strauss, runs in fifth, behind the crocodile-liveried Phoenix Audi of Christpher Haase in fourth.

There have been three safety car periods so far, the first coming out at the 19-minute mark for the No. 42 Hallmark Homes BMW of Anthony Gilbertson, who slammed into the wall at the Conrod Straight.

A heavy crash for the No. 14 Peter Conroy Motorsport Porsche at Hell’s Corner brought out another yellow in the second hour.

The No. 51 IMAK-KWIKMIT Porsche and the No. 66 GT3 Endurance/Mobil 1 Porsche collided shortly after the restart, resulting in another yellow.

A number of other cars have faced early setbacks, including the No. 11 M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 of Harold Primat, who was forced to serve two penalties for jumping restarts.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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