Chaz Mostert has handed over the #65 CoinSpot Audi R8 in the lead of the race, after a foggy start to the Bathurst 12 Hour. Mostert and Kelvin van der Linde in the #74 Audisport Team Valvoline car were the early pace setters, stretching a lead over the #75 SunEnergy1 Mercedes in the opening stint.
The race start was undertaken under safety car, with the track becoming increasingly foggy in the hour leading into the race. Once the race got underway, the fog moved around the track, sitting on the backside of The Mountain through the Esses, before moving across the top, coating the entire top of the Mountain.
Unfortunately, the Mountain has already claimed a victim; the #52 MARC Cars Australia MARC II V8 with Zane Morse behind the wheel missed the mark through Sulman Park, whacking the wall at the Metal Grate, and parking up on the wall on driver’s right. The impact was hefty, and brought out the safety car.
Most teams came into the pits under safety car, with driver changes through the field, putting Bronze drivers in. The drivers who stepped out had a lot to say about the condition of the track.
“That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever done,” commented Mostert to the host broadcaster.
“It’s about survival,” added Kelvin van der Linde.
The host broadcaster then overheard a conversation between drivers just out of the car. David Reynolds, stepping out of the #24 C Tech Laser Audi asking Mostert and van der Linde “Fun?”, with van der Linde responding “No.”
Reynolds was one of the movers in the first hour, moving from 16th on the grid to 7th. The Craft Bamboo #91 Mercedes fight through the grid was scuppered by a pit stop off sequence; today’s race must feature 9 pit stops of 120 seconds in length, with Craft Bamboo’s first stop unfortunately only 119.9s.
Yasser Shahin in the #777 Audisport Team Valvoline car was also given a drive through penalty for passing under safety car. Coming out of the pits, Shahin passed the #75 SunEnergy1 Mercedes and the #888 Triple Eight Race Engineering Mercedes before Griffin’s Bend.
The first steaks of light are beginning to hit the circuit, with 11 hours still to go.The post Mostert and CoinSpot Audi Lead Bathurst After Hour 1 first appeared on dailysportscar.com.