The Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 was unable to finish the Bathurst 12 Hour (AUS), the opening round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge. One week after their highly-acclaimed class victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona (USA), drivers Augusto Farfus (BRA), Chaz Mostert (AUS), and their team-mate Nick Catsburg (NED) were struck by misfortune this time. An unfortunate collision with a kangaroo initially required a long stop for repairs and forced the team to retire from the race later.
The accident occurred roughly three hours into the race, shortly after Catsburg had replaced start driver Mostert behind the wheel. The animal jumped on the track right in front of the car. It was impossible to avoid a collision. This forced the #34 BMW M6 GT3 into the pits for lengthy repairs. By this point in the race, Mostert and Catsburg had already fought their way into seventh place after starting 15th.
Farfus climbed into the driver’s seat in 24th place after the unscheduled stop, after which the team initially set about trying to make up ground again and score valuable championship points. Ultimately, however, they were forced to retire from the race with temperature issues resulting from the incident.
The BMW M4 GT4, run by the RHC Jorgensen / Strom team, with drivers Daren E. Jorgensen (USA), Brett Strom (USA) and Danny van Dongen (NED), achieved a top result. The trio took victory in the GT4 class.
Quotes after the race in Bathurst.
Nick Königbauer, Team Manager Walkenhorst Motorsport: “We are very disappointed, as this is now the third time in a row that Bathurst has not proved to be our friend. We did make it further this year than in the past two years, but unfortunately our hard work once again went unrewarded. Thank you to the whole team for their effort, and to our fantastic drivers. We fielded a very strong team here and hope to come back stronger in the coming races. Generally we love to race in Australia. Having hit a kangaroo so badly this time makes us feel very sorry.”
Augusto Farfus: “On the whole, that was a difficult weekend for us. We were not quite able to match the pace of the front-runners. Despite that, we gave it our all until the very unfortunate incident with the kangaroo cost us the race. I’d like to say a big thank you to BMW Motorsport and the Walkenhorst team for the great job they have done. The BMW M6 GT3 had no technical issues. There are more big races to come for us.”
Nick Catsburg: “I feel very sorry for the team that we were again unable to complete the Bathurst race in what was, after 2019, our second attempt together. Of course it is really sad to have hit an animal so badly. After my collision with the kangaroo, the car was so badly damaged that we were afraid of causing more damage if we continued. We knew that we were slightly lacking the pace to run at the very front of the field. However, at an endurance race, the top priority is always to complete the full distance and get a good result. It is a real shame that we were unable to do that.”
Chaz Mostert: “That was a tough race for our car and the whole Walkenhorst team – from a sporting perspective as well as because of the incident with the kangaroo. It just wasn’t meant to be. Despite that, it is always a very special moment for me when I line up in my home race in Bathurst, and particularly to drive the spectacular first stint as the sun rises. Thank you very much to BMW Motorsport and the Walkenhorst team for allowing me to be here, and for all the hard work. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the next race now.”