Bathurst 1000: Safety Car slashes Whincup’s advantage

Jamie Whincup and Paul Dumbrell continue to lead the Bathurst 1000 at the four-hour mark, but their lead has been slashed to 1.3s thanks to a first Safety Car period.

Bathurst 1000: Safety Car slashes Whincup’s advantage
Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Jamie Whincup, Paul Dumbrell, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden
Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering Holden with a special drift Holden
Scott McLaughlin, David Wall, Garry Rogers Motorsport Volvo
Fabian Coulthard, Team Penske Ford
Jason Bright and Andrew Jones, Brad Jones Racing Holden
Chaz Mostert, Rod Nash Racing Ford
Chaz Mostert and Steve Owen, Rod Nash Racing Ford
Simona de Silvestro, Harvey Norman Supergirls Nissan
Simona de Silvestro and Renee Gracie, Harvey Norman Supergirls Nissan
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Much of the second third of the race was dominated by the #88 Commodore, Dumbrell putting in another impressive stint to drag the car more than 35s clear of the field.

But after an incredibly long green run, the first Safety Car finally arrived on Lap 92. It was Andrew Jones who caused it, the #8 Brad Jones Racing Commodore going into the wall hard at the grate.

The Safety Car effectively neutralised the race, leaving Whincup in the lead from Shane van Gisbergen, the pair running to together on the road with their respective co-drivers having cleared there laps.

Since the restart on Lap 96 Whincup continues to the lead the race, but has teammate van Gisbergen just 1,2s behind.

Fabian Coulthard (#12 DJR Team Penske) shook out in third position from the interruption, currently holds a 0.6s advantage over Mark Winterbottom in the #1 Prodrive Racing Ford.

Scott McLaughlin is well and truly in contention as well, currently sitting fifth in the #33 Volvo with co-driver David Wall having cleared his laps.

Jono Webb is the last co-driver still in the lead group, and is holding on to sixth place in Will Davison’s Tekno Commodore.

Michael Caruso is seventh in the #23 Nissan, Scott Pye eighth in the #17 DJR Team Penske Ford, Garth Tander ninth in the #2 HRT Commodore, and Cam Waters 10th in the #6 Prodrive Racing Ford as the race enters its final third.

Jones unscathed in shunt

Jones, meanwhile, emerged from the wrecked Commodore unaided, and largely uninjured.

“I’m little but tender down the right side of my back, but hopefully it’s just a little bit of bruising,” he said. “The G reading was over 25Gs, but thankfully these cars are very safe. What happened? I’m not 100 per cent sure. I wasn’t trying to set a new lap record or anything.”

Chaz Mostert’s day took a turn for the worst during the third round of stops, right at the top of the third hour of the race. Having been locked in battle over effectively P2 with the #97 Triple Eight Commodore, Mostert lost time during his stop with a wheel nut issue, and then spent the first half of the out lap at a crawl as he tried to build brake pressure.

It did work, Mostert getting back up to speed midway through the lap. But he lost around half a minute while doing it. Things turned even worse for the #55 during Owen’s next stint, a throttle position issue costing more time and dropping the entry down to 17th as Mostert took over for the run to the flag.

Supergirls entry

It’s been a hot afternoon for the Supergirls entry, a cool suit system failure leaving Simona de Silvestro and Renee Gracie sweating during their stints. Despite the uncomfortable handicap, the #360 is still running around in 22nd position.

“It’s so warm, I’m not used to being so warm in a racecar,” said de Silvestro. “The car is pretty good, [we’re] just getting the momentum going.”

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