Damaging day ends hopes for Black Swan, UK Audi

A TYPICALLY brutal day at Mount Panorama has ended the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour hopes for two GT3 contenders, while others face a long night of repairs in order to make qualifying tomorrow.  

Black Swan Racing and the Melbourne Performance Centre’s all-British Audi entry have both withdrawn having fallen afoul of Mount Panorama’s concrete walls at The Chase during practice today.

Meanwhile, Spirit of Race will work late to repair their Ferrari after contact with the Team Vodafone Mercedes-AMG saw them pitched into the wall at Meguiar’s corner in practice two.

US-driver Tim Pappas was behind the wheel of his Black Swan Racing Porsche when his car made heavy contact with the concrete wall on the exit of The Chase, in front of Rydges Mount Panorama.

The car was seen flying across the inside of the corner at near undiminished velocity before making heavy contact with the wall.

A brief fire was extinguished and Pappas removed from the car, conscious and talking to officials.

He was first transported to a Bathurst hospital before then being taken further afield to Sydney for precautionary checks.

The team reported him to be in a stable condition, though after the car suffered severe damage have withdrawn from the race.

Not long prior to Pappas’ crash, Pete Storey crashed the Audi R8 LMS he was due to share with BTCC champions Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden.

The car found the fence on the exit of the Chase. While Storey emerged unscathed, the team declared the car un-repairable and also withdrew.

Italian Ferrari team AF Corse will spend a long night in the pits repairing their 488 GT3 entry after it crashed heavily on the run into Meguiar’s corner.

Paul Dalla Lana was behind the wheel when contact from behind – from the Team Vodafone Mercedes-AMG – pitched the car across the road and into the wall. The team expects the car to be repaired by tomorrow – in time for qualifying, if not the fifth practice session.

Race Control investigated the incident, finding Dalla Lana ‘predominantly responsible’ for casing the contact, having moved to the right of the straight – causing the contact with van Gisbergen as the Mercedes-AMG attempted to pass.

The #51 AF Corse Ferrari was penalised 10 grid positions for their role in the incident, adding insult to injury.

Red flags also flew for David Crampton, who spun his KTM X-Bow into the gravel trap at Meguiar’s Corner in practice four, and Adam Hargraves’ MARC II racer (pictured), who hit the wall at the Audi Sport Cutting and was forced to stop at Mount Panorama for recovery in the third session.

Both cars suffered little or no damage and will continue into tomorrow’s program unaffected.

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