BMW war rages as 6 Hour reaches final stages
Brad Carr and Tim Slade lead the 2022 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour in their Car Mods Australia BMW M3, but the pair have a battle on their hands with the CHE Racing Team M2 Competition.
In the end 63-entries took to the start of the sixth Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour led by the BMW M4 of Karl Begg, David Russell and Nash Morris from pole.
Strong in numbers, BMW has had mixed fortunes in the race so far as high profile teams including the pole-sitting Begg Motorsport M4 as well as the Anthony Soole, Adam Burgess and Anton De Pasquale example went into limp mode during the first hour.
But in the end, it was the Tony Quinn/Grant Denyer Ford Mustang in the lead as a safety car just prior to the end of the hour allowed the leading contenders to pit.
Following a monumental charge, the CHE Racing Team BMW M2 Competition driven by Tom Sargent was in contention after climbing more than 50 positions and in all 62 when he took the lead later in the second hour.
A marque with great success at the Mountain, Mitsubishi and its stalwart Lancer Evo X also had mixed fortunes as the Tyler Mecklam/Hadrian Morall had power steering problems, but other examples were challenging the GWR Australia Mercedes A45 AMGs for the Class A lead.
One of the leading Class A2 competitors in the Aaron Cameron/Nic McLeod/Cameron McLeod Ford Mustang spun at the top of the Mountain, but recovered to continue, while a spin for the Ric Shaw/Tom Shaw/David Cox Mazda RX8 at The Cutting also caught out the Lexus RCF shared by Scott Gore, Keith Bensley and Steve Owen.
A previous leader of the event, the Ellery family BMW M4 shared by Steve, plus sons Dalton and Tristan dropped out of the event as the second hour concluded, with the CHE Racing Team M2 entering the third in the lead.
Further retirements hit A1 where the Mercedes AMG A45 spearheaded by Will Brown stopped with diff problems, the Lachlan Gibbons Lancer Evo X experienced mechanical failure and the Mitsubishi of Cameron Crick/Dean Campbell dropped out too.
The fourth safety car came out and the Slade M4 was able to take the lead after pitting earlier than the CHE Racing Team M2.
Incidents involving the Mark Caine/Michael Caine BMW 1M featured during Hour 4 as first it tangled with the Kyle Alford/Tony Alford Ford Mustang at The Cutting, before later in the stint colliding with the Lexus at The Esses.
But in the lead remained Sargent/Hill by 12s from Slade/Carr after a drive through for the latter for a pit procedure infringement.
In the classes, the Dylan O’Keeffe led GWR Australia Mercedes AMG A45 also shared by Michael Sheargold and Ollie Shannon led A1, plus was fifth outright.
Right behind Quinn/Denyer led A2, Class B was Matt Forbes-Wilson and Mark Mallard in 11th driving a Holden Commodore SSV. Queenslander Jake Camilleri and Scott Nicholas led Class C in the impressive Mazda 3 MPS, the Toyota 86 of Lachlan Bloxsom and Connor Roberts was in charge of Class D, while Class E Mazda power led in the form of Andrew McMaster and Dave Worrell.