31 March 2024 | Uncategorised

Mustang and Camaro Both in the Hunt at Bathurst

Several Class A2 runners are well in contention to get a shock outright victory at the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour, after a stop-start opening half of the race.

Aided by several Class X runners finding problems and numerous safety car periods, the Megalife Ford Mustang Mach 1 of Jason Gommersall/Aaron Seton/Ben Gommersall finds itself in the outright lead at the halfway point of the race.

As of lap 56, the Game Over Ford Mustang Mach 1 found itself in second outright with Ryder Quinn at the helm, with Ben Kavich the best of the Class X runners in third outright for Yellow Pages/Race for a Cure, having had several mechanical scares through the race.

The Statewide Oil Chevrolet Camaro of Chris Lillis/Josh Muggleton/Nathan Callaghan is also firmly in contention for a strong outright result, having run in the outright top five and led Class A2 for a large portion of the day.

Will Davison led the field away from pole position, as the 58-strong field navigated Hell Corner safely for the first time, whilst the Class A2 lead changed hands immediately as the Chevrolet Camaro moved to the lead on Bathurst debut with Josh Muggleton at the helm.

The first safety car for the day came out almost as soon as the race had started, as the Class X Sherrin Rentals BMW M4 started by Iain Sherrin was spun into the McPhillamy Park sand trap by the Century 21 Class A2 Ford Mustang GT of Rylan Gray.

The Sherrins fell off the lead lap whilst being recovered, whilst the Century21 Mustang was forced to change it’s right front tyre and lost a heap of track position.

After a brief yellow, the green flag flew once again, as the field began to settle into a rhythm through the first stint, with the next safety car of the day falling at the perfect time for the leading contenders to make their first compulsory pit stops.

The Champ Group Class C HSV VXR ground to a halt on lap fourteen on the run up to Reid Park, with all of the outright and Class X leaders coming to the pit lane, however the McLennan Motorsport team didn’t meet the minimum pit stop time, meaning the Tom McLennan/David Russell/Shane Smollen entry was still yet to serve it’s first stop.

Their day would further unravel when Smollen made contact with a Class B BMW on the restart, with the resulting right rear puncture knocking one of the lead contenders for outright honours off the lead lap and out of contention.

A further puncture, this time on the rear left corner later in Smollen’s stint further compounded their tough start to the day, currently running five laps off the pace.

The Mackay Goodwin/Lloyds Auctions/Fierce Racing BMW M4 of Scott Turner/Rob Rubis/Jordan Cox is another of the Class X contenders to have had a torrid time, starting from the pit lane after missing the pit exit cut off pre-race.

Cox then proceeded to blaze through the pack, and was inside the outright top ten before an overheating gearbox derailed their charge, with the issue also causing the third safety car of the day on lap 26.

The sole HSV GTS in Class X, the Link Signs entry of Brock Giblin and Brandon Madden had also charged from a rear of grid start, sitting in the outright top five before Madden found the wall across the top and heavily damaging the right front corner.

The last three safety cars have all been caused by crashes across the top of the mountain, with the current tally of safety car periods sitting at six (as of two hours and fifty minutes), with six total safety car periods for just under and hour of running.

Class A2 Mustang drivers Tyler Mecklem and Tyler Cheney fell victim to crashes on the run to McPhillamy Park and The Cutting respectively, whilst Class A1 Mistubishi Evo X driver Graeme Wakefield had a heavy crash just before Skyline.

Further down the classes, the Volkswagen Golf R of Cem Yucel/Iain Salteri leads Class A in fourth outright for Harding Peformance (correct as of lap 56).

In thirteenth outright is the leader of Class B, the Team Buccini Racing BMW 135i of Karlie Buccini/Courtney Prince/Suzanne Palermo.

Class C is led by the MRPS Lolar AED Volkswagen Scirocco R of Patrick Navin and Nathan Halstead in twentieth outright.

The leader in Class D is the Next Step Earthworks Toyota 86 of Mitchell Wooller and Tim Barwick in 22nd outright.

And Class E is led by the RaceAway Track Time Mazda 3 of Scott Tidyman/Ben Shaw/Seth Gilmore in 36th outright.

You can catch the conclusion of the 2024 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour live on SBS VICELAND, Fox Sports, and Kayo.