Bentley Team M-Sport leads the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour with four hours complete and more than 100 laps into the around-the-clock enduro at Mt. Panorama.
The No. 31 Bentley Continental GT3 of Maxime Soulet is ahead of the sister No. 10 entry of Matt Bell, with the No. 1 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 of Florian Stauss third, and also in contention in the early stages.
The pole-sitting No. 59 Tekno Autosports McLarn 650S GT3, which led early in the hands of Shane van Gisbergen, hit drama late in the fourth hour when Alvaro Parente ground to a halt at the start/finish line with gear selection issues.
Parente lost about 45 seconds and has dropped to sixth overall, behind the pair of Erebus Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3s in fourth and fifth, respectively.
The top-six remain on the lead lap, with the No. 2 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS of Laurens Vanthoor one lap behind in seventh, and Audi’s only real hope after punctures for both the No.s 74 and 75 Melbourne Performance Centre entries.
Another early contender, the No. 11 Objective Racing McLaren, is out of the race after heavy contact with the wall in Turn 13 for Warren Luff in the second hour. The No. 74 Audi has also retired after its puncture at the Conrod Straight.
Contact between Mika Salo’s No. 88 Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 and the No. 62 Maxxia Lamborghini Gallardo at Griffins Bend on the first lap of the race resulted in the Ferrari spinning and Nick Percat’s Lambo sustaining damage upright damage.
Both cars are also out of the race.
The No. 4 Grove Motorsport Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car of Scott McLaughlin leads Class B, with the No. 93 MARC Cars Australia Focus V8 leading Class I.