Looking forward to the Bathurst 12hr

Thursday, January 30, 2020

At the time of posting this piece, only a couple of hours (Australian time) remains before the first track session of the Bathurst 12hrs and the first round of the SRO Intercontinental GT Challenge from Mount Panorama in the east of Australia.

Over the course of Thursday, the thirty nine cars spread across GT3, GT4 and Invitational classes took their now customary leisurely drive down from the circuit to the town of Bathurst to meet the locals and the many thousands of converging race fans ahead of the more formal track activities that lead into the start of the race proper on Sunday morning.

Four new turbo charged Aston Martin Racing V8 Vantage GT3's grace the grid this year having not been able to compete at last years event due to the ruleset demanding only race cars with homologation papers at least a year old and as the new Vantage platform wasn't formally homologated under March 2019, that meant that R-Motorsport had to make do with the older, normally aspirated version. Of course by saying 'making do' means that they still damn near won the race overall had it not been for a pesky Porsche!!!

This year, Swiss based R-Motorsport bring two such machines to Australia this year for a full two car attack on Class A Pro for drivers Jake Dennis, Scott Dixon and Rick Kelly aboard their #76 car and Marvin Kirchhofer, Oliver Caldwell and Luca Ghiotto aboard the #62 car. Dixon and Kelly both need no introduction as multiple Indycar and V8 Supercar race and Championship winners respectively whilst Ghiotto and Caldwell have their first real GT3 experience around one of the toughest permanent public road circuits about.

Garage 59 also commit to the series as a full season entry as well as with two of their AMR Vantage GT3's for this event. As published only a day or so ago, team co-owner Alex West described his race intentions to us by confirming just why they had employed the driving talents of AMR WEC driver Maxime Martin alongside their existing three driver line up of them plus Chris Goodwin and Come Ledogar as they look to take the Class A Pro-Am race win by storm. They will be complemented by their Class A Silver #159 car of Andrew Watson, Roman de Angelis and Oliver Hart who all (along with Martin from the #188 car) debut at the circuit this weekend. Obviously, both Watson and de Angelis will be hoping of something better after their respective AMR Vantage GTD's suffered early race ending damage at last weekends Rolex 24.

Four Free Practice sessions lay ahead of the teams today (Friday) before a fifth session on Saturday morning ahead of Qualifying and the Top 10 shootout later in the afternoon. Race itself starts very early at 05:45hrs local (GMT + 11hours).

We were originally hoping for five such beasts as the IGTC grid is this weekend being supported with cars from the Australian GT Endurance Championship - looks like we will have to wait a few more weeks for the Australian GT debut of the Tony Quinn Vantage GT3!

Cant wait............!!!

Photo credits - IGTC / Castrol

  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes