Chaz Mostert and the No. 90 MARC Cars Australia BMW M6 GT3 lead the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour with an incident-filled first hour of the race completed.
Polesitter Toni Vilander led the field in his No. 88 Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 488 GT3 for much of the first hour, but Mostert made the pass on the restart after a lengthy safety car period.
The field ran behind the safety car for 26 minutes after just six racing laps had been completed, following a crash by Frank Stippler which left the No. 74 Jamec Pem Racing Audi R8 LMS stranded across the middle of the track coming out of the mountain section.
Stippler was taken to hospital for precautionary checks after the accident, and considerable track repairs had to be made as the sun rose.
Another driver with a difficult first hour was Maxime Soulet, who picked up a rear-right puncture in his No. 8 Bentley Continental GT3 which started fifth.
Alex Buncombe seemed to have a similar problem soon after, with the No. 23 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 heading into the pits for the team to examine the rear-right wheel.
With 11 hours on the clock, Mostert is nine seconds clear of Laurens Vanthoor’s No. 911 Porsche 911 GT3 R, with Steve Richards and Matt Campbell fourth and fifth.
Vilander served a drive-through penalty on the hour mark having been penalized for weaving on the restart, and dropped back to 16th.
Alexandre Imperatori leads the Cup car class for Grove Motorsport, with Dean Lillie’s Daytona Sportscars Dodge Viper Competition Coupe out front in the Invitational class despite problems with the car’s lights which appear to have been rectified.
Colby Cowham is the current GT4 class leader in the No. 41 Brookspeed Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR.