SunEnergy1 Racing remained in control with three hours to go in the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, although is on an alternate strategy to the majority of the front-running cars.
Luca Stolz held a 12-second lead over the No. 999 GruppeM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Raffaele Marciello entering the final quarter of the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli season opener.
The race’s fifth full course caution came out in the eighth hour for an accident by Scott Taylor, who slammed into the wall at the top of the mountain in his No. 222 Mercedes, resulting in retirement.
Maro Engel, then driving the GruppeM Mercedes, hunted down the No. 75 SunEnergy1 entry of Jules Gounon on the restart, and retook the lead when the Andorran pitted with 4 hours and 13 minutes remaining.
The No. 912 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Mathieu Jaminet ran in third, following a series of quick pit stops by the Manthey-run EMA crew.
Dries Vanthoor was fourth in the No. 32 Team WRT BMW M4 GT3, with Nicky Catsburg having completed the top-five in the No. 77 Craft-Bamboo Mercedes.
A slow pit stop for the No. 888 Triple Eight Race Engineering Mercedes dropped the once-contending entry to seventh. It was compounded by a drive-through penalty for a pit stop infringement.
It was explained that the crew adjusted the rear wing on pit lane, which is not allowed in the regulations.