THOUGH the focus may well be on the large international contingent at this weekend’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 hour, local teams are well advanced in their plans for conquering the mountain.
Long time Bathurst campaigners GWS Motorsport – based just up the road in Parkes – and long-time V8 privateer Mal Rose are two such outfits piecing together strong attacks for this Sunday’s around-the-clock race.
GWS Motorsport have a three-car BMW squad, including the famous two-time race winning 335i turbo – whilst Mal Rose has entered his venerable ex-Garry Rogers Motorsport Commodore that has travelled the world competing in major endurance races.
Local driver Peter O’Donnell says the team is ready for another Bathurst challenge.
“We’re really looking forward to it as always, and every day we get closer I’m getting more excited,” O’Donnell said.
“Our BMW 130i entries are looking a treat, and I think they have a better chance in their classes than I have in mine! My class (Class D for High Performance Production Cars) is looking like a really tough battle.
“I think the other BMWs in the class might be a bit quicker, but we have done some more development on our car and, touch wood, it’s going well.
“I think our team is great at the long distance stuff. We’ve done a lot of it both here and overseas. We know strategies, are great at our pit stops and there is a lot of experience in our team to make this weekend a success.
“That, along with some luck and who knows what else is going to get thrown at us this weekend – we’ll see how we go!”
In something of a coup’ for the GWS Motorsport team, young rising star New Zealand star Andre Heimgartner will co-drive the teams’ BMW 335i with O’Donnell and Anthony Gilbertson.
Heimgartner raced in Porsche Carrera Cup last season, is a front runner in the New Zealand V8 Super Touring series and has been earmarked as a star of the future by many motorsport observers.
Meanwhile, Mal Rose’s Commodore joins a diverse bunch of cars entered in the three-tiered ‘Invitational’ classes this weekend.
It will be the first time Rose has competed with the cat at Mount Panorama, however, and to celebrate the occasion he has unveiled a unique livery representing all of the events he has tackled.
Rose will drive with Dunlop V8 Supercars development series driver Adam Wallis, and Kumho Australian V8 Touring Car series racer Aaron Tebb.
“The car looks great – we thought it would be good to showcase the great endurance races this car has tackled,” Rose said.
“The car is totally unlike the GT3 cars that make up the front of the field. It has no ABS, no Traction Control, no Stability Control, no Aero under-tray and no air conditioning. It’s just outright grunt and an aussie car, made for Bathurst.
“I don’t think it can get any better than that!”
Source. Bathurst 12 Hour
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