The pole-sitting No. 28 HubAuto Ferrari 488 GT3 of Nick Foster has been hit with a penalty at the end of a dominant run in the opening hour of the Suzuka 10 Hours.
Foster stretched out his lead to more than four seconds following a rapid start for the Silver-rated Australian driver over the No. 75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Luca Stolz.
The 1-2 overall run for Pro-Am class entries, however, derailed at the top of the hour when Foster was handed a drive-through penalty for an improper start procedure after his car stalled on the grid.
It’s dropped the No. 28 Ferrari, now in the hands of David Perel, to 11th overall.
Stolz briefly led the race outright prior to his first scheduled stop in the Black Falcon-run Mercedes, handing the lead to the No. 888 GruppeM Mercedes of Tristan Vautier, which was one of the first cars to pit on Lap 22.
The No. 27 HubAuto Ferrari of Matt Griffin runs in second, followed by the SunEnergy1 Mercedes now in third.
Gearbox issues struck Bronze Cup title contender Nick Leventis in the opening hour, with his No. 42 Strakka Racing Mercedes spinning and later stopping on track.
It has resulted in the race’s first retirement.