Audi Sport Team WRT has won the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in unusual circumstances after officials suspended and then declared the race following a huge crash.
Robin Frijns, Stuart Leonard and Dries Vanthoor took the victory following a brief red flag suspension after a three-car shunt involving the #95 MARC Car entry (Bryce Fullwood), #69 Audi driven by Ash Walsh and the #19 Mercedes-AMG of John Martin.
Organisers showed the red flags with 12 minutes left in the clock.
Fullwood and Walsh slammed into the wall at McPhillamy Park in what was a big impact.
However, worse was to follow as Martin then swiped into the passenger side of Walsh’s Audi.
The trio of drivers involved have been extracted from their cars and are in the circuit medical centre.
SunEnergy1 Racing finished second with Jamie Whincup at the wheel of the Mercedes-AMG he shared with Tristan Vautier, Kenny Habul and Raffaele Marciello.
The podium was completed by Black Swan Racing Porsche of Marc Lieb, Luca Stolz, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Tim Pappas.
The quartet also took out the Class A Pro-Am class.
The entry had been largely out of contention until emerging as one of eight cars on the lead lap in the final three hours.
Competition Motorsports was classified fourth courtesy of an impressive drive throughout from Matt Campbell, Alex Davison, Patrick Long and David Calvert -Jones.
Craft Bamboo Racing took fifth despite being caught up in a three-car clash with BMW Team Schnitzer and Bentley Team M-Sport.
Manthey Racing secured sixth while #55 Strakka Racing was the last car on the lead lap in seventh.
While the car was caught up in a race ending crash, the #69 Audi of Walsh, James Koundouris, Theo Koundouris and Duvashen Padayachee won the Am class after results were backdated a lap due to the red flag.
With an hour remaining several of the leading contenders were in fuel save mode prior to the stoppage.
The final three hours saw several contenders fall following a chain of events.
BMW Team Schnitzer had led the early stages of the race and was lying fifth with Chaz Mostert at the wheel when it was involved in a multi-car clash with the #17 Bentley and the Craft Bamboo Racing Porsche.
Mostert attempted to pass both the Bentley and the Porsche for third at Forrest’s Elbow after closing in on the pair that had caught traffic over the mountain.
Contact between the Kevin Estre Porsche and the BMW occurred which then triggered a further collision with the Bentley (Steven Kane), which speared across the track into the #42 Class B Porsche.
The incident, which caused a Safety Car, forced Mostert out of the race while the Kane driven Bentley lost six laps in the pits.
Estre emerged relatively unscathed and remained in the hunt.
There was also a heartbreak for the race leaders as the race ticked towards its final hour.
Markus Winkelhock in the #74 Audi stopped at the top of The Cutting with a transmission problem which saw the lead handed to Manthey Racing of Frederic Makowiecki.
Grove Racing took out Class B from Wall Racing while The Boat Works BMW M4 GT4 of Tony Longhurst, Matthew Brabham and Aaron Seton secured Class C.
The Invitational Class was claimed by the #91 MARC Gen 2 of Will Brown, Rod Salmon and Keith Kassulke.
Race results: 2018 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour
|1||37||Audi Sport Team WRT||R.Frijns
|Audi R8 LMS||APP||271||11:38:04.1333|
|2||75||Mercedes-AMG Team SunEnergy1||K.Habul
|Mercedes AMG GT3||APP||271||11:38:05.6702|
|3||540||Boston Athletic Club||T.Pappas
|Porsche 911 GT3 R||APA||271||11:38:34.7932|
|4||12||Ice Break & Virgin Australia||D.Calvert-Jones
|Porsche 991 GT3R||APA||271||11:38:36.1932|
|Porsche 911 GT3 R||APP||271||11:39:01.6989|
|Mercedes AMG GT GT3||APA||271||11:39:34.0709|
|9||100||Laser Plumbing and Electrical||S.Richards
|BMW M6 GT3||APP||270||11:38:33.1670|
|Audi R8 LMS||AAM||269||11:38:05.9573|
|McLaren 650S GT3||APA||269||11:38:27.6082|
|Mercedes AMG GT3||APA||268||11:38:09.9268|
|14||39||Audi Sport Team WRT||P.Lamy
|Audi R8 LMS||APA||267||11:39:09.5677|
|15||19||Daimler Trucks Brisbane||D.Reynolds
|16||17||Bentley Team M-Sport||S.Kane
|Porsche GT3 Cup||B||260||11:40:14.0463|
|18||91||MARC Cars Australia||K.Kassulke
|MARC II V8||I||258||11:38:19.2475|
|19||85||Paul Reed Smith Guitars||C.Putman
|20||21||The Porsche Broker||D.Stutterd
|KTM X-Bow GT4||C||245||11:39:03.2887|
|25||93||MARC Cars Australia||G.Denyer
|MARC Mazda V8||I||244||11:38:07.8974|
|26||33||MARC Cars Australia||R.Thomson
|MARC Mazda V8||I||243||11:40:15.1403|
|27||22||Valvoline / Jamecpem||G.Tander
K.van der Linde
|Audi R8 LMS||APP||241||11:39:32.5420|
|28||56||Mercedes-AMG Team Strakka||M.Buhk
|Mercedes AMG GT GT3||APP||237||11:40:02.2722|
|29||13||JET Battery Services||D.Jorgensen
|BMW M4 GT4||C||188||11:39:13.1598|
|BMW M4 GT4||C||162||11:40:19.0554|
|MARC Focus V8||I||244||11:38:02.0658|
|Audi R8 LMS||APP||238||10:21:21.1119|
|DNF||43||BMW M Power||A.Farfus
|BMW M6 GT3||APP||217||09:24:05.6345|
|DNF||40||On Track Motorsport||G.Mennell
|Porsche 997 GT3 Cup||B||193||09:20:51.2004|
|DNF||54||MARC Cars Australia||P.Morris
|MARC II V8||I||123||06:15:18.9044|
|DNF||58||YNA Autosport||S.van Gisbergen
|McLaren 650S GT3||APP||119||05:32:27.2539|
|MARC II V8||I||87||06:08:34.5809|
|DNF||46||Prosport Performance GABH||J.Viebahn
|Porsche Cayman PRO4||C||84||04:38:41.5393|
|DNF||23||Team Carrera Cup Asia||P.Tresidder
C.van der Drift
|DNF||3||Audi Sport Customer Racing||A.Samadi
|Audi R8 LMS||AAM||66||03:08:25.4888|
|DNF||18||Bentley Team M-Sport||M.Soulet
|DNF||82||“Bolt Masters, Castrol”||A.Bagnall
|Audi R8 LMS||APA||41||01:46:54.1884|
|Audi R8 LMS||APA||41||01:46:58.8375|
|KTM X-Bow GT4||C||31||01:26:44.6735|
|DNF||96||GAP Solutions / SEKTOR||Jon Goodacre||MARC Focus V8||I|