In what is destined to be the final race for the Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3, the prestigious Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hours at the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst (Australia), R Motorsport are due to start from third place. Although Jake Dennis set the fastest lap in the decisive Top Ten shootout, he and co-drivers Marvin Kirchhöfer and Matthieu Vaxiviere were demoted to P3 in a grid penalty for the offence of speeding in the pit lane. The trio of Team Principal Florian Kamelger, Peter Leemhuis and Matt Parry in the number 760 Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 go into the endurance classic in 17th place overall and fourth in the Pro/AM class.
Dennis clocked a dream time of 2:02.494 minutes in the decisive Top 10 shootout. This put him more than four tenths of a second ahead of qualifying runner-up Raffaele Marciello. In the first sector, the leader board lit up purple, signifying the absolute best time. The 23 year-old Englishman was also super quick in the two other sections. With the fastest lap of the entire quali session, he revealed the full potential of the car.
Dennis in the number 62 Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 had already set one best time (2:03.018 minutes) in the first segment of qualifying. In the second session, he reaffirmed the strong impression already made by once again emerging as the fastest driver in the field, thereby securing the right to compete in the decisive shootout of the ten fastest Class A cars.
Meanwhile, Matt Parry in the number 760 Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 was having less luck. The Brit made it into the Top Ten with his first lap in the second qualifying session. But on his second hot lap, in an attempt to go one better, he clipped the wall on the corner known as ‘The Grate’. The impact was severe enough to break the right front suspension.
The qualifying format of the 12 Hours of Bathurst is divided into three parts. In the first two sessions, the teams have the opportunity to qualify for the Top 10 shootout. In this third and final part of the quali lasting 45 minutes, the best ten Class A cars then compete for the first ten grid positions. The special feature of this session is that each of the ten GT3 cars has the track to itself and drivers therefore do not have to worry about traffic ahead.
The Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour race is the first event of the 2019 Intercontinental GT Challenge. The 6.21km Mount Panorama Circuit is one of the most thrilling venues on the race calendar, with an overall 174-metre variation in altitude and a climb of up to 16 percent.
The Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour race starts at 19:45 (CET). The organisers are providing a free livestream via https://www.bathurst12hour.com.au/streams-tv/international-streaming/.
Jake Dennis, #62 Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3: “What a fantastic lap! My tyres worked perfectly right from the start, and I was immediately able to go on the attack. The team laid the groundwork for this amazing lap with the great job they did. When I crossed the finish line, the radio went quiet for just a brief moment, and I wondered if it was enough. But then came the cool news that I was in the lead. The thought of being the fastest on the amazing Mount Panorama track still give me goose bumps. Although I didn’t make pole position, we can feel confident that we will have the fastest car out there.”
Marvin Kirchhöfer, #62 Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3: “That was a strong lap from Jake. It shows how well everyone in the team has worked, and even though the penalty demotes us to third on the grid, we have the satisfaction of knowing that we were the fastest in qualifying.”
Matthieu Vaxiviere, #62 Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3: “A fantastic performance by the whole team. Unfortunately, we were handed a grid penalty and therefore won’t be starting from grid position one, which is a shame because we really deserved pole.”
Dr Florian Kamelger, Team Principal R-Motorsport: “What an exceptional lap, and what a fantastic performance from Jake! Everything went right for us and the team did a great job. Unfortunately, our achievement did not receive its due reward because of this demotion to third place on the grid. We are nonetheless pleased that, on its last major international appearance, our Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3 was the fastest vehicle on the track which is one of the most beautiful and challenging in the world. I have to say a big compliment to everyone in the team. Our driver trio of Jake Dennis, Marvin Kirchhöfer and Matthieu Vaxiviere are well placed for the race in P3 on the grid. But we have twelve tough hours of racing ahead of us.”