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Bathurst 12H

Erebus Mercedes Out Front at Halfway Mark in Bathurst

Erebus Mercedes-Benz leads Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12H at halfway mark…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

Erebus Motorsport leads the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour at the halfway mark, in what’s been an action-packed and incident-filled enduro on the Mountain thus far.

Jack LeBrocq inherited the lead in his No. 36 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 while under the most recent safety car period, which saw the dominant No. 15 Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS ultra make a routine pit stop.

Marco Mapelli held point prior to the stop, which has seen pole-sitter Laurens Vanthoor climb aboard the mid-engined sports car that now runs fifth.

The No. 77 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia of Steve Wyatt is scored in second overall as the leading GT3 Am car, ahead of the third-placed No. 10 M-Sport Team Bentley Continental GT3 of Steven Kane.

The Bentley was forced to make an unscheduled stop from the lead in the fifth hour due to issues for Matt Bell, who overheated in the car after a drink bottle malfunction. It came after an near-miss for the Englishman, who drove through a gravel trap on the Mountain.

Katsumasa Chiyo runs in fourth in the No. 35 NISMO Athlete Global Team Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, which has also seen time out front in the hands of Florian Strauss.

The top-seven cars remain on the lead lap at the six-hour mark, in what’s been a caution-plagued race, which has seen six additional safety car periods in the last three hours.

The No. 41 Stawell CARTage Mazda RX-8 spun and stalled to bring out the fourth yellow, while the No. 73 Triffid.Bar.Venue Ginetta G50 GT4 stopped on track to bring out another caution.

A narrow escape for the No. 2 Audi of Peter Fitzgerald, who was hit by a Bentley and spun through the gravel trap at the Chase, brought out the sixth safety car during the fifth hour.

Nathan Antunes, meanwhile, crashed his No. 5 Skwirk Audi into the wall for another yellow, while the No. 92 MARC Cars Australia Focus V8 faced similar fate following the restart.

While under the eighth yellow, the No. 55 Kintyre Racing Audi TT RS slammed into the back of the No. 29 Pirelli-backed Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, which resulted in a lengthy cleanup.

The most recent caution was for the No. 48 Interlloy/M Motorsport Lamborghini Gallardo, which stopped on track with mechanical issues.

Class leaders at the halfway mark include the No. 4 Grove Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car (Class B), No. 91 MARC Cars Australia Mazda3 V8 (Invitational) and the No. 76 Aston Martin Saint Gallen Vantage GT4 (Class C).

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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