WPS BATHURST 12 HOUR - HOUR FIVE At the close of the fifth hour and the 100th lap the top five outright are: Des Wall ( ...
WPS BATHURST 12 HOUR - HOUR FIVE
At the close of the fifth hour and the 100th lap the top five outright are: Des Wall (#43), Paul Morris (#20), Damien White (#87), Steve Owen (#11)and Tony Quinn (#29).
With the three safety cars of the previous hour and plenty of pit stops the Race lead was sure to be challenged for as the first few laps of the fifth hour unfolded, and the field of the WPS Bathurst 12 Hour did not disappoint with three lead changes in the first three laps.
Des Wall took the lead overtaking Craig Baird in the cutting, who had moved up through the field from fifth by taking advantage when others pitted.
The front five of Wall (#43), Baird (#20), Layton Cranbrook (#11) Grant Denyer (#29) and Graham Alexander (#87) provided plenty of gasps for the crowd with the five continuously changing position before Denyer made a charge for the lead from fourth.
Four hours and 15 minutes into the race Denyer made his move to overtake three cars for the lead, first taking third from Layton Cranbrook at The Chase and then second from Des Wall -- who had lost the lead to Baird in the previous laps - at Aunger corner, before passing Baird across the top of the mountain to put the Mitsubishi up the front.
It was at the front that Denyer then stayed, with the #29 entry taking advantage of the clean air in front to pull away, extending a handy gap over the next 20 minutes before the fifth safety car of the Race (four hours and 38 minutes in -- caused by the #31 Toyota Celica going into the sand trap at the Kenco Esses) saw the field bunched up yet again.
The yellow flag conditions saw a number of the front-runners head to the pits, with the VIP Petfoods entry seeing a driver change with Tony Quinn taking the wheel and inheriting the race lead from Denyer after his heroic run, while Paul Morris took over from Baird and Damien White resumed the driving seat in the #87 entry from Graham Alexander.
However, the VIP Petfoods entry would be shuffled back to fifth outright when the #29 car committed a safety car restart infringement and were consequently served with a drive-through penalty, allowing Des Wall in the #43 entry to come through and take the lead as the fifth hour came to a close.