The #44 R&B Racing Porsche led the 12 Hours of Sepang at the halfway mark, but it has chosen a different strategy than other frontrunners like the #13 Phantom Global Racing Porsche and #4 Grove Racing Mercedes.

By Steven Walton

At the six-hour mark, the #44 R&B Racing Porsche led the #911 Absolute Racing Porsche by more than 90 seconds. A further 15 seconds back in third was #31 Phantom Global Racing Audi.

These three cars were about halfway through their stints.

In fourth and fifth were the #13 Phantom Global Racing Porsche and the #4 Grove Racing Mercedes. They were separated by about 40 seconds.

Those two cars pitted just before the halfway mark.

The Phantom Global Porsche and Grove Racing Mercedes ended up on different strategies to the top three because they pitted under the safety car in the third hour.

Grove, R&B, and Phantom Global take turns in the lead

During the fourth and fifth hours, the Grove Mercedes and R&B Porsche took turns in the lead due to the different strategies.

The Grove car was particularly fast in the fourth hour with Supercars driver Matt Payne at the wheel. He helped expand the gap over the Phantom Global Porsche to more than a minute.

But, during the fifth hour, Timo Bernhard delivered a mega stint of his own in the Phantom Global Porsche and closed the gap down to the Grove car.

In the sixth hour, the Phantom Global Porsche, with Rio at the wheel, passed Stephen Grove in the Grove Mercedes.

As the race crossed the halfway mark, Payne got back into the Grove Mercedes, while Sun Jingzu got into the Phantom Global Porsche.

Penalties for Phantom Global Audi

One of the previous race leaders, the #31 Phantom Global Racing Audi, hit trouble in the fourth hour. It was handed a seven-second stop-go penalty for not meeting its required pitstop time.

Then, in the fifth hour, it got another penalty when it banged wheels with a backmarker. 10 seconds was added to its pitstop.

The halfway point of the race was 4 pm local time in Sepang. The race will finish in darkness at 10 pm.

The English version of the race is being live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube. Two Chinese steams are available, one on Youku and another on Huya.

Header image credit: 12 Hours of Sepang

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