Sixteen Hour: Brabham's Ferrari out as Monaro run continues. David Brabham's pursuit of the barnstorming Holden Monaros has come to an end at the Bathurst 24 Hour. The Australian international sportscar star had just handed over the Ferrari...
Sixteen Hour: Brabham's Ferrari out as Monaro run continues.
David Brabham's pursuit of the barnstorming Holden Monaros has come to an end at the Bathurst 24 Hour.
The Australian international sportscar star had just handed over the Ferrari 360 to Klaus Engelhorn when an engine warning light flashed in the cockpit and the Austrian spun in his own oil coming onto Conrod Straight.
Brabham, Engelhorn, Philipp Peter and Andrea Montermini had proven to be the closest challengers to the Monaro squad - running two laps adrift when disaster struck at 3.45am.
"Klaus just said an engine warning light came on, then he spun on his own oil," Montermini said.
"It is really disappointing because the car was going superbly. We certainly were not very fast in a straight line, but everywhere else the car was brilliant.
"I can't wait to come back again next year because I just love this circuit. I didn't get the chance to do a lot of laps in practice, so I was still learning my way in the race.
"But the more laps I did, the faster I got and the more I enjoyed it."
Last year's winning entry of Cameron McConville, Garth Tander, Steve Richards and Nathan Pretty held the race lead after 16 hours - holding a slender margin over their team-mates, Peter Brock, Greg Murphy, Todd Kelly and Jason Bright.
"Both Monaros are traveling extremely well, although we're not getting carried away as we're only just over half-race distance," GRM team owner Garry Rogers said.
"The drivers are all sticking to the pre-race plan and the cars are performing faultlessly.
"Our goal is to continue with what we are doing, maintain our pace and stay out of trouble. We want to be in the same position at 2pm this afternoon, that's when it counts."
The Mosler squad led by Martin Short has begun to move into podium contention as the race goes past the 2/3rd distance mark.
Short, Patrick Pearce, Charles Lamb and Heather Spurle had moved up to 5th place by 6.00am despite problems with some damaged front bodywork.
The Alzen brothers' Porsche 996 GT3 continued to lead class B, moving up to fourth position outright.
German cars also led class D (BMW Coupe) and class F (BMW M3R) while the Holden Commodore VX of Scott Loadsman, David Russell and the father-and-son combination of Ian and Warren Luff continued their race-long domination of class E.
The race will finish later today at 2.00 pm.