Shane van Gisbergen currently sits second in the 2023 Bathurst 1000 with just 40 laps remaining, with leader David Reynolds on an alternate strategy, having served an earlier penalty.
Van Gisbergen holds the advantage over his closest rivals, having built an impressive ten-second margin over championship leader Brodie Kostecki during the middle stages. The Erebus driver came in for a stop on Lap 116, elevating Broc Feeney to second.
Broc Feeney covered Kostecki’s stop the following lap, having run nine seconds behind, with Anton de Pasquale being the first Mustang in fourth overall, prior to Kostecki’s stop, ahead of Chaz Mostert.
Feeney would emerge ahead of Kostecki after his stop.
Penrite Racing have bounced back from their earlier misfortunes in style, with Matt Payne’s co-driver Kevin Estre working to 13th, recovering from an early off that brought out the race’s first Safety Car. Payne has just taken control of the car, where he will remain until the chequered flag, running 17th.
David Reynolds and Garth Tander have also worked forward after serving a harsh mid-race penalty for a Safety Car infringement and sit inside the top ten.
It’s a different story for Andre Heimgartner, who has retired from the race after the Brad Jones Camaro suffered a failure on Lap 71 with Dale Wood at the wheel. Wood was also involved in an earlier incident which caused the race’s second Safety Car when he got stranded in the sand at the final corner while under pressure from Scott Pye.
Joining Heimgartner on the sidelines is Cam Waters, whose co-driver James Moffat lost control coming down the dipper, clipping the inside wall on the left-hander and bouncing hard into the outside wall.
Moffat was able to limp back to pit lane with severe damage and would come to a stop at pit entry, briefly impeding James Golding, who was coming in for a stop. Other drivers were able to avoid the Tickford Mustang by taking to the grass while coming in to box.
Richie Stanaway, who was in the lead in the #97 Camaro, came in to stop for fuel under the ensuing Safety Car while David Russell (Kostecki) remained out on track. Stanaway returned to fifth but would work his way forward to sit within a second of the lead prior to the co-drivers finishing their stints on Lap 91 when Russell handed the wheel to Kostecki.
Stanaway passed over to van Gisbergen on Lap 96, with the extra fuel load taken onboard during the Safety Car, seeing him emerge with a net lead of six seconds. Kostecki would briefly eat into this before van Gisbergen got to work and began extending lap-by-lap.