Bathurst 12 Hour live blog

Bathurst 12 Hour live blog

Bathurst 12 Hour live blog

by February 6, 2016

MOTOR is at the 2016 Bathurst 12 Hour and we’ll be bringing you updates throughout the weekend. Check back over today and tomorrow for all the action.

Sunday 6:00pm – Victory for Shane Van Gisbergen, Jonathon Webb and Alvaro Parente in the 2016 Bathurst 12 Hour! Van Gisbergen withstood a late charge from Katsumasa Chiyo in the NISMO GT-R GT3 which saw his advantage whittled down from 12 seconds to just 1.2sec at the line.

Bathurst 12 Hour WinnerA post-race tweet from SVG read “This is the best feeling ever walking out here!” with a picture of the Bathurst podium. The Tekno Autosport crew overcame 13 pit stops, a drive-through penalty and the car shutting down on track mid-race to secure McLaren’s first Bathurst 12 Hour victory.

The final step of the podium was occupied by the Bentley of Matt Bell, Steven Kane and Guy Smith, a just reward for their efforts after being cruelly robbed of a podium on the last corner in 2015.

Following the Bentley home were the Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS and Erebus Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SLS GT3 to make it five different manufacturers in the top five places.

Sunday 5:10pm – The final pit stops are done and it’s now a straight race to the flag. Shane Van Gisbergen leads from the NISMO GT-R of Katsumasa Chiyo by around 12 seconds. Just 30min remain.

Sunday 4:30pm – With just under 90mins to run, the top three cars are, unbelievably identical to the three cars that were fighting for the win in the closing stages of the 2015 race. The NISMO GT-R GT3 driven by Katsumasa Chiyo leads from Laurens Vanthoor in an Audi R8 LMS with Guy Smith in the Bentley hot on his heels.

Bathurst 12 Hour Late UpdateThe top four are separated by just 12 seconds so it looks as though the conclusion to the 2016 race will be just as exciting as last year’s!

Sunday 1:50pm – The second Erebus Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SLS has managed to get back on the lead lap and, as predicted, another safety car has bunched the field up tightly.

The Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS has also managed to put itself back on the lead lap and is now a contender, though out out of phase with the cars around it on pit stops.

Sunday 1:00pm – The McLaren 650S GT3 of Tony Quinn is out of the running after squeezing the Lamborghini of Roger Lago heading into Griffin’s Bend and being forced into a spin. The deployment of the safety car condensed the field and an accident involving one of the MARC Touring Cars forced another stoppage shortly after.

Bathurst 12 Hour UpdateWith under five hours of the race to run five cars are on the lead lap but with more safety cars virtually guaranteed, any one of those cars is still well in contention.

Sunday 12:30pm – We’re past the halfway mark and the cars have already completed over 170 laps, more than an entire Bathurst 1000. The NISMO GT-R GT3 is leading with Rick Kelly on board, followed in quick succession by Thomas Jaeger (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG), Guy Smith (Bentley), and the McLarens of Alvaro Parete and Tony Quinn.

Bathurst 12 Hour Bentley CrashThe second Bentley hit trouble (and the wall) puncturing a tyre, however during the pit stop the bodywork was not properly repaired, the new tyre rubbing and puncturing again on the out lap requiring further repairs and dropping five laps.

Sunday 9:20am – The race continues to evolve but the exact make up of the leaderboard is difficult to know as various cars are running different strategies. The Tekno Autosports McLaren 650S, currently driven by Portuguese driver Alvaro Parente, is back in front and punching out 2:01sec lap times, two seconds faster than any other car.

Bentley Bathurst 12 HourThe two Bentleys occupy second and third, followed by the NISMO GT-R GT3 and the two Erebus Motorsport SLS AMG GT3s. Audi is struggling, with the second Jamec Pem car also suffering tyre woes after contact at the first corner.

Bad news also for Maranello Motorsport. After the first lap spin it is now out of the race due to unrepairable suspension damage.

Sunday 8:30am – As the three-hour mark approaches it’s all change at the top of the 2016 Bathurst 12 Hour leaderboard. The NISMO GT-R GT3, driven by defending champion Florian Strauss, now leads after the Tekno Autosport McLaren 650S, now driven by Alvaro Parente, was forced to pit under green flag conditions.

Bathurst 12 Hour NISMO GT-RThis dropped the Tekno McLaren to sixth, with Strauss being hounded by Andy Soucek in the Bentley as this is being written. David Reynolds sits in third in the Erebus Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3.

Attrition has been high over the past hour or so, with Christopher Mies in the Jamec Pem Audi R8 LMS suffered a tyre blowout on Conrod Straight then Warren Luff crashed out of second place in the Objective Racing McLaren 650S after making a small mistake heading down the mountain.

Sunday 7:15am – An hour and a half down in the 2016 Bathurst 12 Hour and the first round of pit stops has now played out. Pole sitter Shane Van Gisbergen continues to lead in the Tekno Autosport McLaren 650S GT3 but the gap to Warren Luff in a similar McLaren is just one second.

Bathurst 12 Hour Shane Van GisbergenGuy Smith holds third in the Bentley ahead of Rick Kelly, who has made great progress from 13th on the grid in the NISMO GT-R GT3. The leading Audi is Marco Mapelli in fifth, the R8 LMS struggling for straight-line speed but proving very economical.

Sunday 5:45am – The blow of a 3:50am alarm call is softened by the sight of dawn at Mount Panorama. Even at this early hour fans are streaming into the circuit and it’s safe to assume this year will smash all previous attendance records. It should be a cracking race.

Bathurst 12 Hour StartSaturday 2:40pm – Shane Van Gisbergen has rewritten the Bathurst record books with an incredible 2:01.286 lap in final qualifying, putting the Tekno Autosports McLaren 650S GT3 on pole for tomorrow’s 12 Hour race.

Bathurst 12 Hour Shane Van GisbergenRene Rast secured second in the Jamec Pem Audi R8 LMS with a 2:01.840 with MOTOR‘s own Warren Luff third in the Objective Racing McLaren 650S GT3.

The leading Bentley lines up in seventh, while last year’s champion NISMO GT-R GT3 will start in 13th.

Saturday 1:38pm – With half of first qualifying done Shane Van Gisbergen in the Tekno Autosports McLaren 650S GT3 has just fired in an incredible 2:01.591 to go 1.16sec faster than his nearest competitor. The lap record is long gone, just how fast can they go?

Saturday 1:06pm – First qualifying has kicked off and almost immediately come to a halt following a spin by Benny Simonson in the Ferrari 458 GT3.

The pace at the front is unbelievably fast with the top three cars in Practice 5 besting Laurens Vanthoor’s 2015 pole time of 2:02.5521.

Bathurst 12 Hour Erebus SLSYoung gun Matt Campbell went fastest in the Objective Racing McLaren 650S GT3 with a 2:02.391 closely followed by Maro Engel in the Erebus Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 (2:02.391) and Rene Rast in the Jamec Pem Audi R8 LMS (2:03.440).

With five different manufacturers represented in the top nine cars, which are all separated by just over a second, it’s set to be a tight fight at the front.