David Reynolds and Luke Youlden finally conquer Mount Panorama in a difficult Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
It was a wet start for the Bathurst 1000 that saw all the primary drivers starting the race bar Warren Luff in the #02 Mobil 1 Holden.
But the battle for the lead heading to the first corner was extreme where McLaughlin, Mostert, Winterbottom, and Reynolds battled for the lead.
Tander dived on Winterbottom at the chase on the opening lap for fourth place but runs wide and allows Van Gisbergen through both of them.
Then McLaughlin runs off the track at the final corner on the second lap, dropped from the lead to sixth place and Lowndes took his Caltex Holden down the escape road at turn 1.
The commentators said in the Telecast that to see both McLaughlin and Lowndes make errors early in the race shows how tricky it is in the wet.
From 3rd position, Van Gisbergen runs off at turn 1 on the seventh lap which puts Whincup in 3rd place as he’s improved eight positions from 11th on the grid.
Fast forward to lap 18 as Van Gisbergen handed his fast Red Bull Holden to co-driver Matt Campbell but at the Cutting Caruso spins Campbell. The factory-Porsche driver managed to get it back going but lost almost 20-seconds in the process.
The following lap, the race leading car Mostert/Owen car had an electrical issue in the pitstop costing the Supercheap Auto Ford many seconds as the car couldn’t restart immediately.
Macauley Jones and Steve Owen already been a pit-lane penalty for both drivers, with the former for a seatbelt violation and the later one for wheel spinning in the first stop.
On lap 26, its Youlden (#9) leading Premat (#17), Dumbrell (#88), Stanaway (#6) and Muscat (#34). Owen is 9th while Matt Campbell is deep in the field, in 19th.
In these wet conditions, it proved to be a difficult challenge for these endurance drivers as many of them has spent at least one time down the escape roads or off at the chase.
During that stint, Stanaway drove his way pass Dumbrell, Premat, and Youlden to grab the race lead.
On lap 47, it was reported that one of the Shell Fords has an engine issue before seeing the #17 Premat Ford can clearly hear the header failure. Engineer Ludo Lacroix is frankly on the radio telling Premat to continue on.
Weirdly Premat was told on the radio to restart the steering wheel dash to see if that can cure the issue. The team has narrowed it down to an electrical issue or a header failure.
Premat pitted on lap 51 for a scheduled pit stop, but at the same time the crew looked under the hood, and in the exhaust to see if its something simple to fix.
The crew confirmed to pit reporter Greg Murphy that the header isn’t cracked or anything, which is most likely an electrical failure or even a broken rocker.
The car returned back in the pits not long after the last stop, as the team changes the engine mode in a hope to fix the problem.
But it was until lap 73 when car #17 ground to a halt which sees McLaughlin championship hopes evaporated, this caused the first safety car of the day.
When the race was restarted, Mostert passed Luff, Dumbrell, and Youlden pretty quickly, and is now chasing down leader Waters.
After being a lap down, Van Gisbergen has charged through the field and up to fifth place behind teammate Dumbrell also during the first few laps after the restart.
It was until lap 82 when Mostert took the lead away from Waters, which was the first green-flag on-track pass for the led since lap 2 when McLaughlin ran off the track.
The telecast also mentioned that Stanaway and Jacobson could be finishing the race in their respective cars, which will bench their primary drivers for the last stint.
The team confirmed it was a broken header and rocker and will try to get the car back on track to score points.
Teams start to split the strategy with some try to gamble going to the slicks early to gain track position. With Percat and Coulthard charging with miles more speed on slicks.
Then Kelly’s Nissan has a moment at the chase and brings out another safety car after being benched in the sandtrap at the chase.
With the led lap car pitted under the safety car, Coulthard stayed out and took the race lead. As there is 27 laps remaining everyone will struggle to finish on that tank of fuel.
A few laps following the restart, Moffat ran wide at McPhamany Park and spins into the tyre barrier while running 3rd. That mistake cost him a strong finish.
James Courtney ran wide at the same track where Murphy crashed in 2013, this takes him out of the race. No safety car.
Another game changer James Moffat crashes again at Reid Park causes a safety car, this opens the game for the race win.
An epic lap 141 restart saw Tander and leader Van Gisbergen ran wide on track getting rain, handing the lead to Percat. Then Mostert spins Tander with Waters being involved.
Reynolds makes the pass at the final corner on Percat for the lead, which was a battle between the underdog teams.
Then Tander’s day got even worse on lap 147 as he smacks the wall at the cutting which broke the suspension of the GRM Holden and ends his day in the pits as limped back to the pits.
Van Gisbergen has a massive moment and goes the sand at the chase with speed and almost flips the Holden, he divided straight into the pits ended his chances at winning.
Running in the top ten Simona de Silvestro crashes heavily at the front straight causes the 151 lap safety car. That tightens the field up.
Reynolds holds on for the victory, with Pye second and Coulthard third.