WPS BATHURST 12 HOUR - HOUR SEVEN
At the close of hour seven the top outright contenders are: Klark Quinn (#29), Paul Morris (#20), Rod Salmon (#87) and David Wall (#43).
The frantic fight for the lead in the 2008 WPS Bathurst 12 Hour has continued in the seventh hour, with Paul Morris and Klark Quinn providing plenty of entertainment for fans with a furious dice for the top spot.
In a tragedy for the Barry Morcom #11 entry, V8 Supercar driver Steve Owen was left stranded just before The Cutting when his BMW 335i on its way to its scheduled pit stop.
Owen was leading the Race over Paul Morris and his 2007 Race winning BMW 335i at the time, after taking the top spot when Morris and Damien White completed their pit stops earlier in the hour.
While the problem was initially thought to be that the car had run out of fuel, Owen was able to fire up the #11 entry and bring it back to the pits ready for the crew to take a look at what went wrong, while Morris resumed the lead behind the sixth safety car for the Race, with Klark Quinn in #29 behind him in second and Rod Salmon (#87) in third.
Quinn's Mitsubishi EVO had looked faster during the previous hours than Morris' BMW, and so had a good chance to make a push for the lead on the restart at the six hour and 50 minute mark but had a sizeable margin to make up with a lapped car between them. Morris was under attack himself from David Wall, who in the #43 entry was looking to 'un-lap' himself and get back onto the lead lap and back in the race.
Wall was able to do it, while Quinn made easy work of the lapped car and set about rounding up Morris's BMW, while Owen came back on track in fifth position but a lap down.
Clearly determined to make it back with the front-runners, Wall was setting down some flying laps as the end of the seventh hour approached -- setting the fastest lap of the race to date on lap 139 with a 2.31.0396s (overtaking White's fastest which had stood since lap 19 - 2.31.7582s) only to better it with his next lap - 2.30.8888s.
While Wall was putting in some fliers, Quinn was also on the money, reclaiming the lead from Morris in the dying minutes of the seventh hour before Morris fought back to take it back a corner later only for Quinn and his Mitsubishi to take it back on the inside into The Cutting and this time being able to pull a few lengths on the BMW as they head through Reid Park. At the close of the seventh hour Quinn was still in the lead position 5.5seconds clear of Morris.