Vilander leads Bathurst 12H at 9 hour mark

Toni Vilander leads a battle of attrition at the three-quarter mark of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour at Mount Panorama.

The race has ebbed and flowed at the front with the #88 Maranello Motorsport Ferrari holding sway.

Guy Smith (#17 Bentley) was able to jump from fourth to the lead following the 13th Safety Car period with just over four hours remaining.

Maranello took advantage of the caution with just under four hours remaining when it pitted Vilander and subsequently undertook a brake pad change.

The move dropped Vilander to fourth with Smith in the lead from Maro Engel (#22 STM Mercedes) and Patrick Long (#12 Competition Motorsports Porsche) in third.

However the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the race continued with Long contacting the rear of Engel, turning the Mercedes around for which the American received a drive-through (the car’s third penalty) with around 3.30 hours remaining.

The incident promoted Vilander from fourth to second and it wasn’t long before the Finn then regained the lead over the Smith.

Going into the final three hours Vilander led Long while Engel was third.

There was again a flurry of Safety Car activity in the third quarter of the race.

David Russell (#32 Lago Lamborghini) tagged Elliott Barber (GT Motorsport Audi) who was leading the Class A Amateur ranks just after the restart from the 10th Safety Car period early in the seventh hour.

Another caution occurred with just over five hours remaining when the #41 Brookspeed Porsche Cayman GT4 of Lindsay Kearns became stranded in the Chase sand pit.

With just over 4.30hrs remaining Todd Kelly brought the #24 Nissan Nismo GT-R into the pits for an unscheduled stop after it became stuck on fourth gear, leaving just four cars on the lead lap.

Kelly returned to the action after the stop to replace the actuator cost the Nissan three laps.

Soon after the #54 Donut King MARC Cars Focus of Tony Alford became stranded nose-in at the Cutting, triggering another Safety Car.

Safety Car #14 was called when Fred Poordad had a big lose at the Dipper making heavy contact with the wall in the #66 Hobson Motorsport Nissan.

Top 20 after 9 Hours


VIDEO: Bathurst 12 Hour Hour 9 Highlights

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