Trouble has struck the leading No. 1 Erebus Racing Mercedes with just four hours remaining in the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
A routine pit stop for Nico Bastian turned into the gull-winged car being wheeled to the garage with mechanical troubles. The defending race champions had led the majority of the race, which was shaping up to be a three-way battle for the win.
Erebus’ misfortunes has handed the top spot to the No. 37 VIP McLaren MP4-12C of Klark Quinn, who now holds a narrow lead over the No. 88 Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 of V8 Supercars legend Craig Lowndes in second.
The VIP McLaren starred earlier in the running by Shane van Gisbergen, who made some dramatic moves through traffic. The Kiwi is expected to close out the race, in what is now shaping up to be a two-horse fight.
Trouble also hit the No. 63 Erebus Mercedes in the seventh hour when Greg Crick suffered right-front damage to the car, dropping the gull-winged beast down the running order.
It now runs in fourth, behind the No. 84 HTP Motorsport Merc, which has been elevated to a podium position thanks to the misfortunes for the No. 1 car, which lost six laps in the garage for repairs.
The No. 3 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra, which had been comfortably in third, slowed on track in the hands of Rahel Frey before making multiple trips to the garage with electrical issues.
After an accident-filled opening few hours, the race has settled down with no major on-track incidents.
The No. 12 IceBreak Competition Motorsports Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car of Patrick Long holds a two-lap lead in Class B after rebounding from a puncture in the fifth hour.
The class pole-sitting No. 14 Rotek Racing Audi, which dominated the early stages of the race, retired with engine failure.