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Van Gisbergen leads Bathurst 12 hour

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/02/2017 Scott Bailey

Shane van Gisbergen © Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images Shane van Gisbergen Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen leads by 13 seconds over crowd favourite Craig Lowndes midway through the Bathurst 12-hour race.

The stars, in their Mercedes and Ferrari respectively, lead the 51-car field after 143 laps of Mt Panorama.

After Lowndes' teammate Toni Vilander led the field from the start, 2014 Bathurst 1000 champion Chaz Mostert claimed the lead after a safety car period.

However he has since dropped to 40th after co-driver Max Twigg suffered suspension damage after making contact, resulting in a length stay in the pits.

Van Gisbergen is teamed with fellow New Zealander Craig Baird and German Maro Engel, while Lowndes and Vilander are supported by six-time Supercars champion Jamie Whincup.

Meanwhile veterans Mark Skaife, Russell Ingall and Tony Longhurst's hopes of a victory have been dashed, after Ingall put the BMW into the fence as the race neared its midway point.

Patrick Long in his Competition Motorspots car is third.

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