Former Supercars co-driver Tim Leahey leads at the half way mark at the 2017 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour as many contenders drop out early in the race.
The Sherrin BMW got a strong start to the 6-hour race and led the field out of turn 1 on the opening lap and skipped into the distance with the speed advantage down the long straights.
Walden in the Mercedes and Mostert in the Ford starts to carve their way through the field after starting outside the top nine in today’s race.
As Sherrin built a 10-second lead over the rest of the field, the safety car gets deployed for a collision involving #67 Ford of Jason Gomersall and the #69 Holden of Tony Virag. Replays show the Gomersall Ford tapped the rear of the Virag’s Holden which sent the Holden back into the Ford.
As the racing resumed, Mostert passes both of the GWR Mercedes with one of the passes were at the top of the mountain (McPhillamy Park) showing the Supercars star driver is racing aggressively this early in the race.
Then suddenly the safety car got brought again where the #5 entry of Carey McMahon hit the wall at Forest Elbow and stranded on the track which caused the yellow.
A few cars pitted under this safety car period, the #68 of Dylan Thomas had his pitstop time under the minimum pit stop time of 2:30. Race control says it was 2.29.929 which is under the minimum, which led the race officials to issue the #68 car a pit lane penalty.
But as the race leader Grant Sherrin pitted under green, weirdly the bonnet of the BMW M4 comes up with suspected problems for the pole-sitting car. This gives second-place Luke Searle’s BMW the race lead then a little later Sherrin leaves the pits with the pit stop lasting over 8-minutes.
“Grant said he heard a pop and lost a bit of power,” Ian Sherrin said. “So a hose popped off, we came in and Jimmy found the source of the problem straight away. It just took a bit of time to put it back on and so it doesn’t happen again.”
Then a few minutes after the 1-hour mark, the COX Motorsport Pulsar looks like blew the engine at the exit of skyline and parked the car in the gravel at McPhillamy Park causing the third safety car of the day. A lot of cars pitted under yellow as it’s near their pit window.
As the leaders pitted under green, Dylan Thomas found himself into the lead when the racing resumed. Then after a few laps under green, Thomas stopped on the track, pulled up on entry to Cutting with the 2014 Bathurst champion Paul Morris takes the race lead in the #62 BMW.
Race control tried to give the CXC Racing to get the car going again but with the engine failure for the #68 car triggers the safety car to retrieve the stricken car.
Minutes after the race resume, John Bowe’s #20 Mitsubishi crawled to the cutting which triggers another safety car for rescue the A1 class winning, and outright podium finishing car from last year.
The race resumed with Jim Pollicina as the outright race leader, but in a few laps Nathan Morcom’s Ford Focus passes Pollicina for the race lead.
Out of the blue, race control issues a pit lane penalty for fifth-place Andrew Richmond for weaving under safety car when the lights are out. Then straight away, Robert Hughes in the #31 Renault sat broadside to traffic on entry to the Dipper.
He waited for a clear track to get going again, which he did then there was a crash at Forset Elbow involving the #8 Falcon and one of the BMWs which was the #77 BMW of Anthony Soole, Craig Burgess and Adam Burgess.
A1: Timothy Leahey – #80 BMW M Coupe (1 Series)
A2: Paul Lane – #53 Holden VY-HSV GTS
B1: Jack Perkins – #11 BMW 335i E92
B2: Brian Walden – #24 Holden VE SSV-Redline
C: Todd Hazelwood – #40 BMW 130i E87
D: Mark Caine – #37 Toyota 86 GTS ZN SER
I: John McCleverty – #23 Ford Falcon AU
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