Mount Panorama, Bathurst (NSW) 22-23 November 2003 10th Hour summary at 12 Midnight Saturday A heavy rain storm left Mount Panorama awash as the Bathurst 24-Hour race reached the 10-hour mark at midnight tonight. The heaviest part of the storm...
Mount Panorama, Bathurst (NSW) 22-23 November 2003 10th Hour summary at 12 Midnight Saturday
A heavy rain storm left Mount Panorama awash as the Bathurst 24-Hour race reached the 10-hour mark at midnight tonight.
The heaviest part of the storm lasted less than 15 minutes, but turned parts of the track into virtual rivers. The safety car was called out for the fifth time and remained on track as this report was filed.
At midnight, the race leader was the 05# Monaro of Garry Rogers Motorsport, with Greg Murphy driving. It had completed 209 laps.
The 427# Monaro, winner last year, was second, on the same lap. The two Monaros have alternated in first place since Nathan Pretty led off pole in 427# at 2 pm.
At 11.46 pm, the Safety Car was deployed with the 70# Graham Nash Porsche (Mike Newton) stranded on the track with crash damage.
Safety Car caution periods were called at laps 30, 100, 130, 150 and occupied a total of 29 laps. The fifth safety car period started at 11.46, with 207 laps under the leader's wheels. Race officials advised it would stay out until local flooding cleared on the downhill section of the mountain.
In third place and one lap down, the Ferrari 360GT of Austrian team BE Racing, driven by David Brabham, Andrea Montermini, Philipp Peter and Klaus Engelhorn, was consistently one of the fastest cars on track and poised perfectly to take advantage of any slip by the leading pair.
The most significant retirements were the works-backed Morgan Aero 8, with a blown engine just before lap 130.
"The car had been running like clockwork. It just went bang. We'll be back next year bigger and better than ever," lead driver Neil Cunningham said.
Then on lap 150, the Australian PHR Scuderia BMW M3 GTR hit the wall hard in the Cutting, forcing Indonesian driver Maher Algardi to retire.
Porsches 54#, 7# and 6# continued to run in fourth, fifth and sixth places.
The first of the touring cars was the BMW M3 of Peter Boylan, Geoff Morgan, Peter Hansen and Rick Bates, in 11th.
Officially advised retirements from the original field of 45 were cars 66# (Morgan, 97 laps), 75# (Nissan 200SX, 42 laps), 77# (Nissan 350Z, 65 laps) and 40# (BMW, 25 laps).
<pre> Outright 1. 05# Holden Brock/Murphy/Bright/Kelly 209 laps 2. 427# Holden Monaro Tander/Richards/Pretty/McConville 3. 48# Ferrari 360 Brabham/Montermini/Engelhorn/Peter 4. 54# Porsche GT3 Cup Shearman/Teulan/Fitzgerald/Morris 5. 7# Porsche GT3 Cup Denyer/Quinn/Quinn/Marshall
Class A - 427# Holden Monaro Tander/Richards/Pretty/McConville Class B - 7# Porsche GT3 Cup Denyer/Quinn/Quinn/Marshall Class D - 27# BMW M Coupe Russell/King/Stubber/Cramp Class E - 62# Holden Commodore SS Loadsman/Luff/Luff/Russell Class F - 23# BMW M3R Lynton/Lynton/Cartwright/Jackson