Provisional pole-sitters Will Brown and Jack Perkins are the first of the heavy hitters to strike trouble at the Repco Bathurst 1000, with steering issues costing the pairing numerous laps.
The pairing had endured a mixed opening phase of the race. Brown, starting the car against a slew of co-drivers, failed to make much progress in the early running. Still, they held a spot towards the bottom of the top 10.
Things then took a turn, with the Shaw & Partners entry spewing smoke all over the track just over an hour into the Great Race with Perkins behind the wheel. The smoke started at McPhillamy Park, and continued all the way around the lap with Perkins pulling into the pit-box.
The issue was eventually diagnosed as a steering rack failure, having left a slight slick of oil across the top of the mountain. At the time of writing the Brown and Perkins combination has gone four laps down on the leaders, meaning a recovery late in the race is highly unlikely.
So far just one entry has retired, being that of Scott Pye and James Golding with a brake issue. James Courtney and Thomas Randle are also several laps down, with Randle having beached the Tickford entry at turn one on lap 17.
Lee Holdsworth currently leads the race by 5.8 seconds with 35 laps completed, with Garth Tander in second place ahead of Cameron Waters, Tony D’Alberto, Jamie Whincup, Tim Blanchard, Dale Wood, Warren Luff, Michael Caruso, and Andre Heimgartner in 10th.