Mercedes dominate Bathurst 12 Hour endurance race with clean sweep

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Supercar champion Shane Van Gisbergen, rookie teammate Broc Feeney and Prince Jefri Ibrahim finished third to secure Mercedes a clean sweep of the Bathurst 12-hour endurance race.

The Red Bull Ampol Racing duo and the son of the Sultan of Johor, in a Triple Eight Race Engineering entry, secured the first 1-2-3 for a single mark on the event’s overall podium, with Frenchmen Jules Gounon and SunEnergy1 Racing taking the race at Mount Panorama.

It is Gounon’s second consecutive Bathurst 12 Hour triumph and it came after he started from third place when Sunday’s race started in dark and foggy conditions at 5.15am (AEST).

The win is the first Bathurst 12 Hour victory for Gounon’s co-drivers Luca Stolz, Martin Konrad and Kenny Habu.

Hong Kong-based Craft Bamboo finished second despite starting from the back of the grid after an engine change forced the team to miss qualifying on Saturday.

Mercedes joins Ferrari on two GT3-era victories at Mount Panorama, with only Audi’s three triumphs exceeding that total.

This is Van Gisbergen’s third time on the 12 Hours podium, having won the race in 2016 and finished third in 2020.

Feeney and Prince Ibrahim had never stood on a podium at the 12 Hours of Bathurst.

There was less luck for defending Bathurst 1000 champion Chaz Mostert, who started on pole position but failed to finish.

Foggy conditions at the start of the race forced the safety car to be called up twice, with Mostert and fellow Bathurst 1000 winner David Reynolds both criticizing the decision to start the race in adverse conditions.

“It’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever done in a car,” Mostert said after his first stint.

“You can’t see the peaks, you can’t see the walls, and it’s worse when you’re in front… you don’t have anyone to follow.

“To be honest, we shouldn’t have started, I don’t think.”

Reynolds, driving one of the seven Audi cars, also felt the start should have been delayed.

“When the fog is so thick, you can’t see where you’re going,” Reynolds said.

“It’s so dangerous. It’s really bad.”

Four different entries all found the wall as the rain fell and only 11 cars were classified at the finish of the race, eclipsing the previous record of 18 from 2012.

-PAA

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