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The battle of the Mountain starts

The opening third of the Repco Bathurst 1000 is complete and there has been three safety car periods ensuring the leaders remain close heading into the halfway point.

Coca-Cola Racing by Erebus driver, polesitter Brodie Kostecki continues to lead as he battles the Red Bull Ampol Racing Camaros. Richie Stanaway is currently pursuing the championship leader in Shane van Gisbergen’s Chevrolet, but teammate Jamie Whincup won the start and held first during the first stint.

A clutch problem for Truck Assist Racing’s Cameron Hill led to a visit to the pits before the race begin, but an inspired charge elevated him back into contention.

The Triple Eight Race Engineering Wildcard dropped four laps early following a gearshift tower fault with Craig Lowndes at the wheel.

Although the Nulon Racing Camaro of Jonathon Webb was first to leave the road at The Chase, it was Kevin Estre in the Penrite Racing Mustang bringing out the first safety car after locking up at Hell Corner and becoming stuck in the sand trap.

The other Penrite Racing Mustang of David Reynolds and Garth Tander was in the fight before a pi lane penalty was applied due to a safety car infringement.

Another safety car was called soon after when contact from Scot Pye sent Dale Wood in the R&J Batteries Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 into the wall on the outside of Murray’s Corner.

Mark Winterbottom held the lead, but it was Kostecki leading the runners to have pitted and was able to take the lead back, with Stanaway for company.

Brad Jones Racing pair Macauley Jones and Jack Smith collided leading to a 15s penalty applied to the former.

Ford currently hold the top seven positions as the pit stop cycle plays out led by the Shell V-Power Racing Team Ford Mustang of Anton De Pasquale and Tony D’Alberto.

All the lead Camaros have pitted.

Come back for another update at the 100 lap mark.