Van Gisbergen overcomes penalty to win Bathurst 6 Hour

The #97 Prestige Connex BMW. Picture: Australian Racing Group

Shane van Gisbergen has overcome a five-second time penalty to take victory in the 2021 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour for himself, Shane Smollen, and Rob Rubis.

With the penalty to be added to the #97 Prestige Connex BMW M4’s race time for a restart breach, van Gisbergen had to try and get far enough ahead of the chasing pack in a race littered with Safety Cars.

In the end, he took the chequered flag 12.8557s clear of the #1 Bruce Lynton BM Service BMW M3 after 120 laps, making him the second person in history to win the Bathurst 1000, Bathurst 12 Hour, and Bathurst 6 Hour.

For Tim Leahey and Beric Lynton, a runner-up finish by the official margin of 7.8557s represented a second podium in as many editions of the production car enduro after they won in 2019.

Sherrin Racing rounded out the podium courtesy of David Russell and Grant Sherrin in the #27 BMW M4, while Tim Slade and Bradley Carr combined for fourth in the #8 Car Mods Australia BMW M3 which suffered a litany of problems throughout the weekend.

The latest of those, however, might well have cost them a win given Slade had to pit from the lead at the end of a restart lap with just over an hour to go due to a second tyre drama of the day.

Fifth outright and first in Class A2 went to the #95 Miedecke Motor Group Ford Mustang of Brodie Kostecki, George Miedecke, and Paul Morris.

The latter finished the race due to the former experiencing illness from fumes and, as van Gisbergen did, had to put more than five seconds between himself and the following car in order to hold on to class honours in the face of a time penalty.

It was the #1 BMW M3 which looked well-placed when the race restarted for a seventh time with around two-and-a-half hours remaining.

Lynton held sixth spot while Sherrin was 10th in the #27 BMW and van Gisbergen 11th in the #97 BMW, which also comes out of the Bruce Lynton stable.

The latter of those two were each given another position when Carr followed the Safety Car into the lane, before van Gisbergen picked off the #27 BMW and another four cars in the next four laps.

When an eighth Safety Car came on Lap 71, in the 218th minute, Lynton inherited the lead and van Gisbergen second position, while Sherrin was seventh, with each of those three cars having completed five pit stops out of a compulsory six for Class X.

In ninth sat Kostecki in the #95 Mustang, with all of its four compulsory pit stops seemingly done, while Slade was 17th in the #8 BMW (Class X).

One lapped car protected Lynton for the Lap 73 restart but van Gisbergen cleared it before they reached Hell Corner and all but wiped out the roughly 1.7s deficit before they got back to pit straight.

He made the move at The Chase on Lap 74 and was 0.9s up at the end of the next lap, by which time Sherrin had made his way to third, albeit more than 15 seconds behind Car #97.

Van Gisbergen was 1.2s clear when the ninth Safety Car was called on Lap 76, due to Graeme Muir burying the #18 HSV (Class A2) at The Chase.

Lynton pitted from second position and Kostecki from sixth during the neutralisation which spilt into the fifth hour of proceedings.

Under Safety Car, the top three was van Gisbergen, Sherrin, and Tony Alford (#49 Racer Ford Mustang, Class A2), with Slade sixth, Leahey 11th in the #1 BMW, and Morris 14th.

Van Gisbergen had three lapped cars behind him for the Lap 81 restart and was 10 seconds ahead of Sherrin once the latter had cleared them by the end of the lap.

Slade passed Sherrin at Forrest’s Elbow on Lap 82 while Leahey was third when he went underneath Sherrin at Murray’s Corner on Lap 89.

Van Gisbergen had a 23-second advantage at the time of the next Safety Car, on Lap 93, to recover a lower class car which had stopped at The Esses.

All of the contenders pitted but Slade managed to jump van Gisbergen in the lane given it was the eighth pit stop for Car #8.

Slade therefore led the field to another green flag on Lap 96, but was straight back into the pits due to a second tyre drama of the day and dropped out of the outright top 10.

Once again, van Gisbergen built a lead, but the eight-second margin was wiped out by the 11th Safety Car of the race on Lap 100 due to one car stopping at The Chase and another hitting the wall at Reid Park.

Behind van Gisbergen sat Leahey, then Russell and Morris, with Slade last on the lead lap in 12th position.

What would turn out to be the last restart came with around 40 minutes in the contest remaining, and van Gisbergen immediately rolled out back-to-back fastest laps to go 2.5s clear of Leahey.

He lost margin in traffic but surpassed the magic five-second marker on Lap 109, at which point there was around 22 minutes remaining plus one lap more.

Van Gisbergen continued to build the lead and it was around 10 seconds when Leahey very nearly slid into the wall as he descended towards Forrest’s Elbow on Lap 113, which allowed Russell to close right up on Car #1.

Russell, however, fell back again due to traffic and there would be no change to the podium placings in the seven laps which remained.

It was a different story behind them, as Slade sliced through the field to be fifth outright within three laps after the restart.

When he came up behind Morris on Lap 108, ‘The Dude’ chose to sidestep him on the run towards Reid Park, presumably with an eye on the class battle as the #25 Greentech Gold Coast Ford Mustang of Coleby Cowham and Lindsay Kearns loomed behind.

Slade faced a deficit of over 22 seconds to Russell at the time, and that gap was much the same when they took the chequered flag.

Morris had over eight seconds between himself and the following Mustang after the 120th and final lap, meaning he had done enough to win his class and consign Cowham/Kearns to second in the A2 race.

Class A1 honours went to Michael Sheargold/Brett Hobson/Ollie Shannon in the #45 Ram Motorsport/GWR Mercedes-AMG A45 in seventh outright.

Rounding out the outright top 10 were the #49 Racer Industries Ford Mustang of Tony Alford/Kyle Alford (Class A2), the #6 Oneworld Charters Mercedes-AMG A45 of Rod Salmon/Steve McLaughlan/Neale Muston (Class A1), and the #19 Shockwave Signs Mitsubishi Lancer Evo of Jimmy Vernon/Mark Griffith (Class A1).

Results: Race

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver(s) Car Cls Cls pos Laps Race time
1 97 Prestige Connex S.Smollen/R.Rubis/S.van Gisbergen BMW M4 X 1 120 6:02:25.5600
2 1 Bruce Lynton BM Service B.Lynton/T.Leahey BMW M3 X 2 120 6:02:33.4157
3 27 Sherrin Rentals G.Sherrin/D.Russell BMW M4 X 3 120 6:02:37.6036
4 8 Car Mods Australia B.Carr/T.Slade BMW M3 X 4 120 6:02:59.5580
5 95 Miedecke Motor Group G.Miedecke/P.Morris/B.Kostecki Ford Mustang GT A2 1 120 6:03:58.4766
6 25 Greentech Gold Coast C.Cowham/L.Kearns Ford Mustang GT A2 2 120 6:04:01.9674
7 45 RAM Motorsport/GWR M.Sheargold/B.Hobson/O.Shannon Mercedes-Benz AMG A1 1 120 6:04:07.4172
8 49 Racer Industries T.Alford/K.Alford Ford Mustang A2 3 120 6:04:24.0974
9 6 Oneworld Charters R.Salmon/N.Muston/Y.Shahin Mercedes-Benz A45 A1 2 120 6:04:25.1037
10 19 Shockwave Signs J.Vernon/M.Griffith Mitsubishi Lancer EV A1 3 120 6:04:42.7484
11 50 Harding Performance C.Yucel/I.Salteri Volkswagen Golf R A1 4 120 6:04:50.5767
12 53 Muscat Trailers/Wollongong Aut R.Coulthard/T.Symonds Holden CSV Monaro A2 4 119 6:03:58.2101
13 52 Urban Alley Brewery Docklands M.Eddy/D.Grant Audi TTRS A1 5 119 6:05:01.1537
14 42 Airtag/Sheargold Group G.Walden/M.Auld Mercedes- Benz A45 A1 6 118 6:04:02.7104
15 14 Tegra Australia/Solo Works L.Mineeff/T.Sargent Toyota 86 GTS D 1 117 6:02:34.8157
16 73 Race Academy International M.Forbes-Wilson/A.Seisun/M.Ferns Holden SSV Lowndes B2 1 117 6:03:04.3179
17 99 Bruce Lynton BM Service S.Ellery/T.Ellery/D.Ellery BMW M3 X 5 117 6:03:28.9223
18 44 Nolan Finishes D.Clift/A.Heffernan Holden HSV R8 Clubsp A2 5 117 6:03:52.6709
19 71 Bargwanna Motorsport B.Bargwanna/J.Bargwanna VW Golf GTi D 2 117 6:03:55.4524
20 11 11Racing M.Maddren/M.Payne/M.Dowsett Subaru BRZ D 3 117 6:04:44.1088
21 28 Hall Finance& Insurance B.Hall/S.Hay/C.McLean Ford Mustang GT A2 6 116 6:03:20.0964
22 31 Osborne Motorsport J.Haynes/K.Lehmann Renault Megane C 1 116 6:04:13.4068
23 5 Cee3 D.Westwood/C.Gillis BMW M3 C 2 115 6:02:32.5839
24 4 Property Investment Store A.Soole/D.Thomas BMW M4 X 6 115 6:03:31.4883
25 84 AC Store/CP Dental J.Hay/P.Ansell/P.Navin VW Scirocco C 3 114 6:02:25.8030
26 82 Spinifex Recruiting P.O’Donnell/P.Johnston/G.Mennell BMW 335i B1 1 114 6:03:15.0809
27 24 SS Auto Memorabilia G.Heath/D.Hassall/S.Stockdale Toyota 86 GTS D 4 113 6:03:34.4655
28 35 Road To Bathurst B.Wilson/R.Gilroy Mazda 3-SP25 E 1 113 6:04:58.6661
29 40 Commodore Shop Cardiff J.Herington/A.Tsovolos/D.Russell Holden Commodore SSV B2 2 112 6:02:21.7326
30 78 Disc Brakes Australia J.Walsh/D.D’Aquino/B.Crossland KIA Proceed D 5 110 6:03:42.2657
31 30 Perseverance Drilling S.Pittman/C.Baird/S.Cameron Holden HSV VE A2 7 110 6:04:23.6090
32 46 Team Group Suzuki Racing Team I.Cowley/D.Natoli/M.Thewlis Suzuki Swift Sport R E 2 109 6:02:30.5749
33 47 On Track Motorsport J.Fitzgerald/S.Turner/U.Muller BMW 130i C 4 107 6:05:14.2810
34 33 Ranger Lifting/Rigging/Safety A.McGill/M.Caine Ford Falcon GT-F A1 7 106 6:03:22.5979
35 51 Air & Allied Sales Pacific C.Holdt/M.Stewart/D.Ling Holden HSV Astra VXR C 5 101 6:03:16.7931
36 86 RX8 CUP R.Mork/R.Shaw/T.Shaw Toyota 86 GTS D 6 99 6:03:50.0308
37 48 ASAP Marketing Pty Ltd S.Gore/K.Bensley BMW 135i B1 2 98 6:03:40.0495
38 18 Gramur Stainless G.Muir/J.Hodgson Holden HSV GTS A2 8 94 6:03:16.2118
39 3 Racer.Industries N.McLeod/B.McLeod/C.McLeod Holden HSV Astra VXR C 6 94 6:03:59.0576
40 43 Team Group Suzuki Racing Team M.Hopp/S.McHugh/M.Rice Suzuki Swift Sport R E 3 77 6:02:40.8728
DNF 64 Cachet Homes C.Lillis/J.Muggleton/M.Holt Holden HSV Clubsport A2 DNF 112 5:46:43.4640
DNF 29 Forrest/Razztech Motorsports D.Forrest/P.Razum Holden HSV R8 Clubsp A2 DNF 90 5:01:48.1165
DNF 21 Secure Wealth S.Hodges/M.Caine BMW M4 X DNF 89 5:01:57.6473
DNF 2 Madaz Motorsport D.Worrell/A.McMaster Mazda 3 SP25 E DNF 87 4:44:00.8245
DNF 16 Boss Surveillance Systems J.Simes/A.Levitt Mercedes-Benz AMG C6 A2 DNF 87 5:49:08.2713
DNF 89 Pinnacle Automotive D.Krusza/J.Williams BMW M3 C DNF 74 3:54:22.4839
DNF 41 Wake Up T.Virag/J.Bowe/B.Sternbeck Holden HSV GTS X DNF 74 4:28:59.0102
DNF 20 Gold Coast Embroidery/ozEtees R.Lacey/M.Mravicic/P.Lacey VW Scirocco C DNF 64 3:26:19.2182
DNF 9 Parramatta Vehicle Services H.Morrall/T.Mecklem Mitsubishi Lancer EV A1 DNF 61 3:07:32.4339
DNF 57 Retail Construct/Nova Employme M.Boylan/D.Agathos Mitsubishi EVO X RS A1 DNF 59 3:03:30.0267
DNF 55 Prime Finance/Fifth Gear Motor D.Flanagan/M.Malouf Mitsubishi Lancer EV A1 DNF 59 4:39:13.8544
DNF 59 Luxury Auto Body I.Geekie/A.Carolan/G.Stephenson BMW 1M A1 DNF 53 5:05:14.3492
DNF 17 Bloomfield Capital Racing C.Donald/A.Mouzouris BMW M1 A1 DNF 33 3:10:34.3954
DNF 7 Local Legends Grant Denyer Ford Mustang GT A2 DNF 29 1:29:41.7774
DNF 77 MX5 Mania/Max Winter Automotiv Zac Raddatz Mitsubishi EVO 9 A1 DNF 23 1:10:27.2024
DNF 23 US Customs M.James/A.Astuti/R.Suhle Holden HSV GTS A2 DNF 23 2:35:23.4064
DNF 15 Race For A Cure/Yellow M.Kavich/B.Kavich Mitsubishi Lancer EV A1 DNF 21 1:43:17.8974
DNF 36 Brown Davis Racing Products Michael Holloway Toyota Celica D DNF 1 8:20.5446

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