4 February 2018

Anyone’s race at the halfway point

Anyone’s race at the halfway point

Audi, Bentley, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG, Porsche: at the halfway point of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour all five manufacturers entered in the 2018 Intercontinental GT Challenge had their moments at the sharp end of the race. Nine safety car interventions meant that almost a dozen cars are still on the lead lap.

For a while it looked like the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour was in a holding pattern, since the order of the race only changed during the pitstops and driver changes. Gaps between the leading cars were small, especially since the safety car had to lead the pack nine times during the first six hours of the race.

For the GT3 machines entered in the Intercontinental GT Challenge, incidents were few and far between: the #18 Bentley – already a couple of laps down after a gearbox change – suffered a puncture in The Chase, ending its race in the gravel trap. The #58 McLaren of former winners Shane Van Gisbergen and Craig Lowndes was among the frontrunners for a big part of the race, but then lost a substantial amount of time due to overheating problems.

At the six-hour mark the leading car was the #74 Audi Sport Team MPC, with the whole of the top-10 within half a minute of the leader.


(photo: Audi Sport)