ALL signs were looking positive for Perthville's Grant Denyer after his opening stint at the Bathurst 6 Hour, where he shot up from 13th on the grid to sit as high as fourth.
He brought the car back to pit lane to hand his Local Legends Ford Mustang GT entry over to Tim Miles with a strong lead in the A2 class.
But a frightening crash on The Chase for Miles soon brought the team's race to an early end around 90 minutes into the event.
Miles' left side of the car caught the grass on the inside of the track and that was enough to send the car heavily into the outside wall at high speed.
"He was going around a slower car at the fastest part of the circuit and was just slightly off-line, lost control at around 250 kilometres an hour and hit the wall," Denyer said.
"It's devastating really because we were right in contention. The car had awesome pace and we weren't going to have to do as many pit stops as the other cars up the front.
"When something like this happens it's always a sad moment but the main thing is that Tim's okay. It was a big whack for him and I'm sure he'll be feeling a bit sore tomorrow.
"Unfortunately the mountain's claimed another one."
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Denyer's Mustang looked a picture of health during the opening hour of the race as it matched pace with a strong field of BMW M3s and M4s.
His charge through the field was the most eye-catching performance of any driver during the opening hour.
"I haven't driven for a little while now so I was really keen to get out there and show the mountain what I've got," Denyer said.
"It was working out too. I had some big passes and I was leading our class by a long way. And it came after our technical issue we had in qualifying so we had to start down in 13th.
"With all these fancy BMWs it was nice to see a good old fashioned V8 engine thumping up the mountain again. It's not as hi-tech but it's got some balls about it."
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