Bathurst 1000: Stanaway/Waters leading in wet conditions

A brilliant stint from Richie Stanaway in wet conditions has put the the #6 Prodrive Ford into a commanding lead a third of a way into the Bathurst 1000.

Bathurst 1000: Stanaway/Waters leading in wet conditions
Cameron Waters, Richie Stanaway, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford
David Reynolds, Erebus Motorsport Holden
Mark Winterbottom, Prodrive Racing Australia
Start: Scott McLaughlin, Team Penske Ford leads

The young Kiwi took over from main driver Cam Waters after the first stop with the car at the back end of the Top 5, and more than 30 seconds off leader Luke Youlden.

But the gap didn’t last long. By Lap 30 Stanaway was running third, 14s behind Youlden. Seven laps later he had his first crack at the lead, running down the escape road as he tried to pass the Erebus Commodore at the last corner.

It was only a brief reprieve for Youlden; three laps later he was back on the Erebus car’s gearbox, sliding past at the last corner to grab the lead.

When Stanaway made his next stop on Lap 48 the lead was out to 15s, and he currently holds a 16s advantage over David Reynolds, who has since taken over from Youlden.

Jamie Whincup is currently running third, following a dream start to the race. From 11th on the grid, Whincup was in sixth within two laps, and when Red Bull Holden teammate Shane van Gisbergen ran wide at Turn 1 on Lap 7 Whincup was already in third.

When co-driver Paul Dumbrell took over Lap 19, he did spend a stint running in fourth, behind the #17 Penske Ford.

But the latest round of stops has put the #88 Commodore back into third, with Whincup back at the wheel, a little over 10 seconds behind Reynolds.

The #17 Ford, meanwhile, has been hit with an engine problem. The car had been running third, Alex Premat doing a good job to make up ground after Scott McLaughlin had dropped back to sixth early in the first stint of the day.

However the car is now losing ground thanks to a dip in horsepower, an initial investigation during the latest stop not solving the problem.

Scott Pye is running fourth, largely thanks to a stunning stint from co-driver Warren Luff at the start. Luff was the only co-driver to start the race, but more than held his own against the full-timers in the wet conditions. He moved his way from 20th up to the fringe of the Top 10 before the stops started, handing the car over to Pye who has since moved his way further up the field against mostly co-drivers.

After a dream first stint, the opening third of the race evolved into a nightmare for the #55 Prodrive Ford. Mostert was the star of the first stint, taking over the lead when Scott McLaughlin ran wide at the last corner on Lap 3. He built a lead of more than 15s before pitting and handing over to Steve Owen on Lap 18. But a long stop, and a subsequent pitlane penalty for spinning wheels during the stop, demoted Owen to the back end of the Top 10.

The car is currently running 11th.

The #97 Red Bull Holden has had a shocker of a start to the race as well. It all turned south during Matt Campbell’s out-lap after taking over from Shane van Gisbergen, the Porsche Supercup regular spinning after tangling with Michael Caruso at The Cutting.

He got going again, only to be served up at the last corner by Jonathan Webb on Lap 32.

That dropped him to the back of the field, Campbell having now climbed his way back to 13th.

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