BATHURST, Australia — Robin Frijns, Stuart Leonard and Dries Vanthoor combined to drive the Audi Sport Team WRT to victory in the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
The WRT squad sat in the lead of the race into the final minutes when an enormous crash at the top of the Mountain ended the 2018 edition of the race early.
Three cars were involved in the incident, including the No. 69 Supabarn Audi R8 LMS of Ash Walsh, No. 19 Mercedes-AMG GT3 of John Martin and the No. 95 MARC Cars Australia entry of Bryce Fullwood.
“Last year we did not have the luck on our side, and this year we had a difficult start to the race as well,” Frijns said. “The first three hours we did not have a radio, which made the timing of the pit stops difficult. At the end we had to try and save fuel but keep the gap as well, which was tough. I’m so happy we made it. We had a difficult week, but the race went perfect.”
Coming home in second was the No. 75 SunEnergy1Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Kenny Habul, Tristan Vautier, Jamie Whincup and Raffaele Marciello, while third was the No. 540 Black Swan Racing Porsche entry of Tim Pappas, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Luca Stolz and Marc Lieb.
“If one week ago somebody would have told us we would finish on the podium, we would have signed with both hands,” Vautier said. “But now we came so close to the win, I would have loved to see the fight go to the end. Our Mercedes-AMG was great over a stint, we managed to control the tire wear very well.”
Class A Pro-Am was taken out by the third place overall finishes Black Swan Racing, while the crashed Supabarn Audi won Class A Am, completing the most amount of laps in the class.
Grove Racing claimed the Porsche Class B victory with drivers Stephen Grove, Brenton Grove and Ben Barker, while Boost Mobile Class C was won by the No. 30 Boat Works Racing BMW M4 GT4 of Tony Longhurst, Aaron Seton and Matthew Brabham.
The Racer Industries Invitational Class winners were the No. 91 MARC Cars Australia MARC II V8 of Keith Kassulke, Rod Salmon and Will Brown.