Van Gisbergen gives McLaren its biggest GT win since 1995

Van Gisbergen gives McLaren its biggest GT win since 1995

McLaren takes the prize at the 2016 Bathurst 12 Hour.

Tekno Autosports won the Bathurst 12 Hour, holding out the fast finishing Nissan GT-R squad and handing McLaren its first major GT race win since the 1995 Le Mans 24 Hours.

Shane Van Gisbergen, Jonathan Webb and Alvaro Parente took the flag having been front runners throughout the twelve hour race.

Heading the race from the start, Van Gisbergen set a new lap record early on with a 2:01.3 lap before the Nissan squad moved into the lead.

The joint Australian and Japanese effort led the race for more than 100 laps but fell behind the Tekno McLaren at the final round of stops when Van Gisbergen raced back into the lead.

A shorter final stop and the final safety car helped make up for a drive through penalty after he was caught speeding in the pit lane after taking the car over for the final stint.

Kamasuya Chiyo put in a late race charge to close to just 1.2 seconds of Van Gisbergen at the finish, though the Kiwi had the Nissan driver covered to take a comfortable win.

However there was a heart-stopping moment for the team when Parente rolled to a halt on the start-finish straight and was unable to immediately re-fire the car.

The delay cost the team almost a minute, though it remained in contention on the lead lap in spite of the interruption.

The race claimed its share of casualties, Nick Percat an opening lap retirement after he clashed with Mika Salo in the Ferrari at turn two.

Though he was able to limp the Lamborghini back to the pits the car couldn’t be repaired and became the event’s first victim.

The Ferrari was also heavily damaged in the incident and spent a significant time in the garage before finally rejoining the race.

Erebus lost the Maro Engel/Bernd Schneider/Austin Cindric car at the nine hour mark while the Jamec Pem Audi of reigning Australian GT champion Christopher Mies lasted just two hours.

Bentley showed strong pace but faded as the race wore on, Matt Bell finding justice in third place after being pushed off the podium at the final turn last year.

The second car had an eventful day with two punctures on successive laps to finally end the race sixth, four laps off the leaders.

Scott McLaughlin won the Class B with Simon Grove and Le Mans winner Earl Bamber while the Invitational class was dominated by the MARC cars who claimed the top five places, headed by the Jake Camilleri/Morgan Haber/Aaron Seton Focus.

Motorsport news provided courtesy of Velocity Magazine – Australia’s leading monthly motorsport magazine.

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