Mount Panorama, Bathurst (NSW) 22-23 November 2003 4th Hour Summary at 6 PM Saturday Stunning start to Brock's bid for 10th Bathurst win Bathurst legend Peter Brock has made a stunning start to his assault on the 2nd annual Bathurst 24-Hour,...
Mount Panorama, Bathurst (NSW) 22-23 November 2003
4th Hour Summary at 6 PM Saturday
Stunning start to Brock's bid for 10th Bathurst win
Bathurst legend Peter Brock has made a stunning start to his assault on the 2nd annual Bathurst 24-Hour, holding the race lead after four hours as he targets his 10th victory at Mount Panorama.
Brock chased down Monaro team-mate Nathan Pretty after the 2pm start and took the race lead after 14 laps.
Sharing the car with Holden V8 Supercar drivers Greg Murphy, Jason Bright and Todd Kelly, the #05 Brock car had completed 83 laps at the four-hour mark.
Brock said: "Things are going along nicely. The boys have settled in to the rythmn of a 24-hour race.
"Mind you, we've had a few wide-eyed moments, particularly when Murf got caught in the wet on slicks and had to crawl back to the pits at about 20 kmh.
"At this stage of the race we'll just push on and hopefully keep out of trouble."
The race fell under safety car conditions after 70 minutes when the #40 Duller Motorsport BMW M3 of Robert Brooks hit the wall. Mount Panorama was then struck by a heavy rain storm which kept the field behind the safety car for 10 laps.
Australian international sportscar ace David Brabham held third place aboard the Ferrari 360 GT he is driving with fellow ex-Formula One driver Andrea Montermini (Italy) and Austrians Philipp Peter and Klaus Engelhorn.
Tyre problems struck leading contenders in the opening four hours including the Lamborghini of recently crowned Australian Nation's Cup champion, Paul Stokell and the Porsche of ex-British Touring Car Championship ace Tim Harvey.
Both lost valuable time as they limped back to pit lane -- Stokell having a wild ride through the sand trap at the Chase when his right rear tyre failed.
While Brock is gunning for his 10th Bathurst victory, Kiwi Greg Murphy is hoping to add the Bathurst 24 crown to his recent Bob Jane T Marts 1000 V8 Supercar win.
"The #05 car is motoring along nicely. Brock did the job early in good style then I caught the crook weather," Murphy said.
"Conditions changed a lot and the officials did the right thing in extending the safety car period or someone would have got hurt.
"The Monaro went okay on wet tyres, but the clue is not to push too hard through slower traffic."
The UK-based Brabham led last year's inaugural event for 18 of the 24 hours. After starting 7th on the grid, he lost three positions initially but began to make ground after the opening hour to move up to third before handing the car over to Sebring 12-Hour winner, Philipp Peter.
"We suffer a little bit on straight line speed, but once I got into a bit of a groove, I started to make some progress through the field," Brabham said.
"The Ferrari is a great little car to drive, but we don't have the outright speed of the Monaros. Catching them will be tough, but this is a very long race and anything can happen."
The race will finish tomorrow at 2.00 pm.