Wearing the aptly numbered 88 livery, Ferrari took top honours in a hotly competed, drama packed event, that was the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour International Endurance Race 2017.
The 488 GT3 Ferrari driven by Jamie Whincup, Craig Lowndes and Toni Vilander survived a competition with a high rate of attrition, where the racing would not have looked out of place in Mad Max Fury Road.
Carnage and plenty of it added to the excitement of an event that was a nail-biter from the get go. Prime candidates for the race outright succumbed to vehicular jousting, with the Audi entrants being hardest hit. While the lead changed several times throughout the race; with the brands Mercedes-AMG, Nissan, BMW, Bentley and Porsche each having their turn, it was Ferrari that reigned supreme.
The Ferrari 488 GT3 went on to win one full lap ahead of the second place getters, David Calvert-Jones, Patrick Long, Marc Lieb and Matt Campbell driving the number 12 Porsche 991 GT3 R.
Perhaps even more exciting was the results for second place, which looked to be safe in the hands of the number 22 Mercedes-AMG GT3, driven by Craig Baird, Shane Van Gisbergen and Maro Engel. In a race that was less than perfect for Van Gisbergen who copped a pit lane drive-thru penalty for bumping a lapped car into a fence. A penalty not served as he subsequently spun the car when it hita kerb just after the Dipper. The crash saw the AMG out, just twenty minutes before the finish.
The race decider most likely occurred 40 minutes out from the end of the contest, when Jamie Whincup took the lead from Van Gisbergen. Running down Conrod straight and passing on the outside, two wheels on the dirt at 280km/h! Talk about balls of steel, Whincup sure showed he had them.
The 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour International Endurance event played out like the epic Chariot Race in Ben Hur and was no doubt a crowd pleaser; with entertainment this good, the event will only get bigger and better as the years pass.
Here are the top ten finishers.
1. (88) Vilander/Lowndes/Whincup (Ferrari)
2. (12) Calvert-Jones/Long/Lieb/Campbell (Porsche) +1 laps
3. (17) Soucek/Soulet/Abril (Bentley) +1 laps
4. (912) Talbot/Martin/D Padayachee (Porsche) +1 laps
5. (1) Parente/Bell/Ledogar (McLaren) +1 laps
6. (32) Lago/Owen/Russell (Lamborghini) +2 laps
7. (3) Samadi/Gaunt/Halliday (Audi) +2 laps
8. (24) Strauss/Kelly/Mardenborough (Nissan) +2 laps
9. (9) Cini/Holdsworth/Fiore (Audi) +3 laps
10. (29) Manolis/Millier/Capelli/Canto (Lamborghini) +5 laps