Van Gisbergen Drives McLaren To Bathurst win

A THRILLING Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour has ended with McLaren drivers Shane van Gisbergen, Alvaro Parente and Jonathan Webb spectacularly taking victory in another tense finish at Mount Panorama.

Kiwi superstar Shane van Gisbergen held out a fast-finishing Katsumasa Chiyo in the Nissan GT-R to record the first win for McLaren at Mount Panorama, after a day of high drama that claimed several leading contenders early in the race.

The final winning margin was just 1.2 seconds after the Japanese superstar stormed home in the closing laps only to fall just short of defending Nissan’s 2015 win.

The McLaren victory came despite 13 visits to pit lane, a drive-through penalty and even a brief moment when the car stopped on track exiting the final corner – Portuguese driver Alvaro Parente forced to re-set the car on the track before resuming.

The team’s chances took a blow when van Gisbergen was issued a drive-through penalty for pit lane speeding when he began his final stint, however well-timed Safety Cars and savvy strategy from the TEKNO team returned the No. 59 car to the front.

Van Gisbergen also recorded a new outright lap record of the Bathurst circuit at 2m01.567s – the fastest ever recorded in a race at the famous circuit.

Today’s result was the first notable success for the McLaren brand at Mount Panorama since Neil Allen set a longstanding Bathurst lap record (2m09.7) in a McLaren M10 F5000 open-wheeler 46 years ago, one that would stand until the early 2000s.

Nissan drivers and defending winners Chiyo, Rick Kelly and Florian Strauss finished second ahead of Bentley Team M-Sport’s Matt Bell, Steven Kane and Guy Smith who finished third.

The Bentley team’s result was especially satisfying given they were knocked out of a potential podium result in the last corner of the 2015 race.

For the second year running, five brands finished in the top five with the Phoenix Racing Audi R8 finishing fourth and the Erebus Motorsport SLS AMG GT3 fifth in it’s Bathurst swansong.

A highly competitive race was contested over a race-record 297 laps (1,845km) and featured a race-record 29 lead changes across its duration.

13 Safety Car interruptions for a total of 40 laps broke up the race however lengthy periods of green-flag running allowed for teams to experiment with race strategy, setting up the thrilling finish between the competing brands.

The race was in the balance through to the closing stages with a round of pit stops at the top of the final hour setting up the closing sprint to the flag.

Mount Panorama claimed several leading contenders early with Nick Percat (Lamborghini) and Mika Salo (Ferrari) clashing on the opening lap at turn two. The Lamborghini was out instantly while the 2014-winning Ferrari was later parked after 63 laps with unrepairable damage.

20 cars finished the race with key contenders from Jamec-Pem Racing and Objective Racing out of the race early after striking dramas – the Jamec Audi with a tyre failure and the Objective Racing McLaren after contact with the wall at the dipper after just two hours.

A dominant performance from the Grove Racing Porsche 997 GT3 Cup Car saw the Melbourne-based team win the Rydges Class B battle in dominant fashion.

The Grove Porsche, shared by reigning LeMans winner Earl Bamber, V8 ace Scott McLaughlin and car owner Stephen Grove, started slowly but surged to the class lead early in the morning and was never headed – ultimately winning their class by a mammoth 15 laps.

Second in class was the Safe-T-Stop Porsche driven by Richard Gartner, Aaron Zerefos and Indiran Padayachee.

All-Aussie team MARC Cars Australia completed a 1-2-3 sweep of the BM Pro Invitational class with Aaron Seton – son of Glenn Seton – teaming with Jake Camilleri and Morgan Haber to win the class by nine laps.

Tony Alford, Mark Griffith and Beric Lynton finished second and Mick Benton, Hadrian Morall and Angus Kennard third.

A record three-day crowd of 37,079 attended the 2016 event, up approximately 15% on 2016.

Results

Pos Nbr Team Car-Drivers Cls PIC Gap Diff
1 59 Tekno Autosports McLaren 650S van Gisbergen-Parente-Webb AP 1 — 297 laps —
2 1 NISMO Athlete Global Team Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 2015 Kelly-Chiyo-Strauss AP 2 1.276 1.276
3 10 Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 2014/2015 Kane-Smith-Bell AP 3 1:18.503 1:17.227
4 2 Phoenix Racing Audi R8-LMS 2015 Winklehock-Vanthoor-Davison AP 4 2:05.621 47.118
5 36 Erebus Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 2013/2014 Reynolds-Jaeger-Bastian AP 5 — 296 laps — 1:19.012
6 5 GT Motorsport Audi R8-LMS 2015 Taylor-Mawer-Antunes AA 1 — 294 laps — 5:04.122
7 31 Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 2014/2015 Soucek-Soulet-Russell AP 6 — 293 laps — 55.898
8 75 Jamec Pem Audi R8-LMS 2015 McLaughlin-Rast-Tander AP 7 47.366 47.366
9 60 Tekno Autosports McLaren 650S Bell-Watson-Davison AP 8 — 292 laps — 1:49.669
10 32 JBS Australia Lamborghini Gallardo R-EX Lago-Youlden-Owen AA 2 — 291 laps — 2:53.940
11 82 International Motorsports Audi R8-LMS Ultra 2013/2014/2015 Bagnall-Armstrong-Halliday AA 3 — 287 laps — 7:16.471
12 4 Grove Hire Porsche 997 GT3 Cup (MY 10-12) Grove-McLaughlin-Bamber B 1 — 285 laps — 4:49.277
13 93 MARC Cars Australia MARC Focus V8 Camilleri-Haber-Seton I 1 — 280 laps — 11:38.042
14 54 Donut King MARC Focus V8 Alford-Griffith-Lynton I 2 — 271 laps — 19:19.460
15 92 MARC Cars Australia MARC Focus V8 Benton-Morrall-Kennard I 3 8.368 8.368
16 6 SAFE-T-STOP Porsche 997 GT3 Cup (MY 06-09) Gartner-Zerefos-Padayachee B 2 — 270 laps — 4:21.935
17 49 Defelice Homes Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 2013/2014/2015 Defelice-Montermini-Simonsen AA 4 — 256 laps — 31:54.831
18 91 MARC Cars Australia MARC Focus V8 Thomson-Kearns-Vernon I 4 — 228 laps —
19 94 MARC Cars Australia MARC Mazda 3 V8 McLeod-Fullwood-Rowe I 5 — 195 laps —
20 77 Completion Products, Asia I Pacific Spiral Porsche 997 GT3 Cup (MY 10-12) Bamber-Foster-Curran B 3 — 79 laps —
DNF 21 J.F.C – Freem – Rotex Porsche 997 GT3 Cup (MY 10-12) Fillmore-Stutterd-Bergmuller B B — 268 laps —
DNF 40 Handley Surveys / Supabarn Audi R8-LMS Ultra 2013/2014/2015 Koundouris-Koundouris-Marshall AA — 251 laps —
DNF 63 Erebus Motorsport Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 2013/2014 Engel-Schneider-Cindric AP — 219 laps —
DNF 37 Darrell Lea McLaren 650S Quinn-Quinn-Baird AA — 171 laps —
DNF 9 Hallmarc / Network Audi R8-LMS Ultra 2013/2014/2015 Cini-Eddy-Joens AA — 157 laps —
DNF 69 Apo Sport Porsche 997 GT3 Cup (MY 06-09) Osborne-May-May B — 149 laps —
DNF 33 MISHUMOTORS Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 2013/2014 Schultis-van der Zande-Simon AA — 133 laps —
DNF 38 WOTSO Workspace Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S Tresidder-Bilski-Wall B — 128 laps —
DNF 12 Mobil 1 New Zealand Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S O'Donnell-Dippie-van der Drift B 10:16.703
DNF 65 Daytona Sports Cars Daytona Sportscar Coupe Augustine-Schoots-Lillie I — 126 laps —
DNF 28 GWS Personnel BMW 335i E92 Williams-Cauchi-Cox I — 107 laps —
DNF 16 PROsport Performance Porsche Cayman Pro 4 Christodoulou-Viebahn-Hamprecht I — 92 laps —
DNF 88 Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 2013/2014/2015 –Salo-Vilander–D'Alberto AP — 63 laps —
DNF 74 Jamec Pem Audi R8-LMS 2015 Mies-Haase-Mapelli AP
DNF 11 Objective Racing McLaren 650S Walls-Luff-Campbell AA
DNF 62 SP Tools Lamborghini Gallardo Rullo-Percat-Andrews AA

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