Audi has won a crash-shortened 2018 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, denying Jamie Whincup back-to-back victories in the GT sportscar enduro.
Racing a Mercedes, Whincup led the contingent of 11 Supercars drivers and finished second to the factory WRT effort of Robin Frijns, Stuart Leonard and Dries Vanthoor.
The earlier challenges of Chaz Mostert and Garth Tander for BMW and Audi respectively ended with damage, both entries having led parts of the race.
The race effectively ended with a multi-car accident on the run to McPhillamy Park with 20 minutes remaining.
Ash Walsh got caught up with Bryce Fullwood’s MARC Focus, with his Audi left strewn across the circuit and then collected by John Martin in the Mercedes he shared with David Reynolds.
All three drivers got out of their vehicles - Walsh taken to Orange Hospital for further checks - with a brief safety car period followed by a race suspension and ultimately declaration with four minutes to go.
When the race was neutralised, Whincup had been closing on Frijns, as the top four cars all looked to save fuel to make it home without stopping.
Frijns' lead had hovered around four seconds in the final hour, and was chipped away at by Whincup down to three and then two.
It means Audi won the race for the third time and first since 2012, while Whincup had to settle for second to go with the victory he claimed in a Ferrari 12 months ago.
The Scott Taylor Motorsport-run Mercedes only started the day in 15th, and Whincup then jumped in the car for the first time after owner Kenny Habul's stint in the fourth hour in 16th place.
He carved his way up to second during his stint, then hopped back in for the run home, after Vautier and Marciello stayed at the sharp end of the order.
"We couldn’t be happier," Whincup said. "We certainly maximised.
"I’m a big believer of the team that does the best job should win. These boys (WRT) did a fantastic job, so they deserve to win.
"We were tight on fuel as well, but what’s Bathurst without a fuel race, we were hanging in there. We got lucky.
"Thanks to Kenny and the guys from STM, what a great weekend."
Porsches filled the next four places, led by the #540 of Marc Lieb, Jeroen Bleekemolen, Luca Stolz and Tim Pappas that won the Pro-Am class
Supercars enduro regulars Matt Campbell and Alex Davison were in the Competition Motorsports 911 GT3 R that finished fourth, one spot ahead of Shane van Gisbergen’s 2018 Triple Eight partner Earl Bamber.
Earlier in the day, Mostert and Tander's entries looked set to challenge for significant silverware.
Mostert led the first quarter in the Schnitzer Motorsport BMW he qualified on pole.
After getting as much as 40 seconds clear during Mostert’s commanding opening stint, the car lost track position with a drive-through penalty incurred at a restart by Marco Wittmann.
Higher ambient temperatures also hurt its straightline speed, but Mostert had cut his way from 10th through to fifth across the ninth and 10th hours.