Audi penalty headlines chaotic middle stint

The LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour was turned on its head several times in a chaotic third quarter.

Luca Stolz, Daniel Juncadella and Broc Feeney headed a Mercedes-AMG trifecta.

The Audi #74 played itself into contention thanks to a barnstorming stint by Kelvin van der Linde.

However, the #74 was slapped with a two-minute penalty due to exceeding mandated driver time.

Brad Schumacher was found to have completed a stint length outside the regulations.

It came after van der Linde overhauled Am drivers Prince Jefri Ibrahim and Kevin Tse.

Tse’s #91 Craft-Bamboo Mercedes-AMG held sway at the halfway mark.

A green period of two hours and 24 minutes ended after Tony Bates crashed the #24 Audi at Forrest’s Elbow.

Mark Rosser (#17 Audi) narrowly missed the stranded Bates, who returned to the lane.

Maro Engel took over from Tse, with Shane van Gisbergen behind the wheel of the #888 Mercedes.

The former opened up a margin on the Supercars champion before they both stopped.

It put Konrad into the lead in the #75 SunEnergy 1 Mercedes, with Ibrahim jumping Tse.

All the while, van der Linde muscled through and eroded a 40-second margin to the battling Ibrahim and Tse.

Van der Linde took the lead and raced away into the distance.

However, the penalty triggered confusion in the Audi camp as van der Linde brought the car in.

Meanwhile, the day went from bad to worse for the pole-sitting #65 Audi.

Fraser Ross limped back to the lane with right-rear damage before the car was brought in for good.

A rear-right puncture also consigned the #777 Audi to the pits.

The tyre carcass entangled itself on the wheel assembly, delaying the #777.

Separate incidents for Michael Sheargold and Stephen Grove were tended to during the eighth full-course yellow.

Sheargold (#45 Mercedes) crashed at John Hinxman Vista; Grove (#4 Porsche) lost control at Skyline.