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Earl Bamber Porsche Leads At The Quarter Mark

Plenty of drama and the first safety cars of the race in the second and third hours

The trend of clean, green flag running did not continue past the race’s opening hour as we saw three Safety Car appearances in hours two and three.

Leading the race heading into the fourth hour is the #912 EBM Porsche 911 GT3-R. Dirk Werner has a one second lead over the #35 KCMG Nissan GTR of Tsugio Matsuda. Both of those cars moved to the front of the field on pit stop strategy; the front of the field shuffles wildly at the end of each hour though, as the leaders pit over the course of a handful of laps.

Luca Stolz recently brought the #77 Team Craft-Bamboo Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 into the pits. He had spent much of the past two hours in the lead of the race. That car now has Gary Paffet, down in 14th.

The #888 Mercedes AMG Team Vodafone entry is in third after scrapping with the #42 BMW Team Schnitzer M6 GT3 through the Chase for the final podium place.

The pair of Bentley Team M-Sport Continentals had spent time at the front of the field but took the opportunity to pit under one of the Safety Cars. They are now ninth and 10th with the #107 Continental leading the #108 Continental.

The first Safety Car of the event came as the result of an incident involving the #12 Competition Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3-R.

A visibly upset David Calvert-Jones reported to the DSC Editor that he was on new rubber, was working his way into the lap and beginning to lean on the tyres “I turned in, and should have just given it a breath, instead I lifted and the back came around. I thought I could get it back but the car is done.”

The second Safety Car was a two-car incident involving the #96 MARC Cars Focus and the #27 HubAuto Ferrari 488 GT3.

Nick Percat tried to move his Ferrari around the outside of the #96 Focus just before the Elbow, but Percat lost the back-end, sliding in front of the #96 Focus. Heavy front end damage to the #96 Focus spelled the end of the day for them, while the HubAuto mechanics are still working on the Ferrari, and are close to rejoining the race

Just seconds after going green following that Safety Car, the #760 R-Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 brought out another one. The team do not know what happened to the #760 but observed that the damage does not look too bad

“If we have the parts we’ll get her out there,” said Sam Hignett. “The bigger problem is that the parts are in the container and one of the boys saw a spider in there now nobody will go in!”

Following up on an incident earlier in the race involving the #34 Walkenhorst BMW M6 GT3 the mechanics are actively working on the car.

It was an “oil pressure problem” according to a member of the crew as others were busily cleaning just about everything in the engine bay.

Leading the B-class, for Porsche 911 Cup Cars, is the #4 Grove Racing entry with Brenton Grove behind-the-wheel.

In control of the Pro-Am class is the #75 SunEnergy1 Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 with Kenny Habul at the helm.

The Invintional class top spot is currently held by Paul Tracy in the #91 MARC II V8. And the lead of the Class C, for GT4 cars, is held by Trent Harrison in the #50 KTM X-Bow GT4.