Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour Update - Start 8:30am

DEFENDING champion Damien White retained the lead in the Armor All Bathurst 12-Hour production car race as the event headed into its third hour on the Mount Panorama circuit today.

White had started his Pedigree Class A Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10 from fourth grid position, but took the lead from Jason Bargwanna just before the end of the first hour.

After two hours, he had completed 38 laps of the 6.21 kilometre track and held a lead of less than 10 seconds from Des Wall in a Lancer Evo 9.

Stuart Kostera was third in another Evo 10 and holding off an impressive run by the improbable Class B Holden Commodore station wagon of Nathan Pretty.

Bargwanna and teammate Glenn Seton, both driving Lancers for the Sydney-based Pro-Duct team, said they had enjoyed their first stints at the wheel, but had to find wet parts of the track to help cool their tyres.

"I'm thoroughly enjoying it, particularly in a Mitsubishi four-wheel drive," Seton said.

"It's 12 hours, we've got to look after our tyres to the end."

Geoff Emery brought out the safety car for the second time on lap 32 when his Holden Commodore spun at the Caltex Chase and buried itself deeply in the gravel safety trap. Racing resumed on lap 35.

Track conditions remain dry but heavily overcast. As the day begins to warm, drivers are reporting light fog across the top of Mount Panorama.

A total of 42 cars (correct) started at 6.30 am and face a journey of up to around 1500 kilometres. The Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour, in its fourth year as the ultimate test of showroom-standard production cars, is Australia's longest motor race.

TOP FIVE (8.30 am)

1 Car 1# Damien White, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10, 38 Laps
2 38# Des Wall, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 9, 38 laps
3 55# Stuart Kostera, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 10, 38 laps
4 85# Nathan Pretty, Holden Commodore Sportwagon, 38 laps
5 20# Paul Morris, BMW 335i, 38 laps

-source: bathurst 12h

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