Van Gisbergen leads Bathurst 12H at halfway

Shane van Gisbergen holds the advantage in factory-support STM Mercedes AMG at the halfway mark

Shane van Gisbergen has put on a masterclass to lead the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour at the halfway mark.

Approaching mid-race, a battle between Supercars team-mates Jamie Whincup and van Gisbergen saw the pair trade the lead several times.

As the war raged, van Gisbergen managed to pull off a brilliant inside move going into the Chase on Whincup.

With the pair riding the knife-edge, they started to put a wedge between the third-placed Marc Lieb, the reigning World Endurance Championship title-winning driver, in the Competition Motorsports Porsche.

Lieb had been earlier given a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pitlane, the second penalty for the #12 after first falling foul of officials for its role in the Jamec Pem incident at quarter race distance.

Russell Ingall clobbered the wall coming down the mountain in the #7 BMW Team SRM which signalled the deployment of the ninth Safety Car period.

The incident continued BMW’s battered campaign as it spelled the end for the sole conceivable M6 chance.

Early in the fourth hour, the battle between the #22 Mercedes and the #88 Ferrari turned dark when Craig Baird tagged Lowndes in a botched run up the inside for the lead on a Safety Car restart.

Baird later apologised after realising he was premature in making the move, saying he had been given wrong information that he could overlap from the green after the Safety Car had peeled off.

Officials quickly issued a 10s stop and hold penalty to Baird.

The incident left Lowndes bogged in the Murray’s Corner trap, however he was miraculously helped out, narrowly avoiding going down a lap.

Early in the fourth hour George Miedecke (#35 Aston Martin) brought out the fourth Safety Car when he suffered a heavy crash at Hell Corner.

Top 20 at the halfway mark

VIDEO: Bathurst 12 Hour Hour 6 Highlights

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VIDEO: Bathurst 12 Hour Hour 4 Highlights

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