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NEW ZEALANDERS SET SIGHTS ON MORE BATHURST 6 HOUR GLORY

Following a rewarding debut at the Bathurst 6 Hour last year 11 Racing plans to return to the prestigious race this coming Easter weekend (10-12 April), doubling-up its car line up and ambitiously aiming to build on that podium finish by targeting class victory with an all international driver line up underpinned by a quartet of quick new Zealanders.

Last year racing brothers Murray and Graeme Dowsett teamed up with professional sports car star Davide Rizzo in the 11 Racing Toyota 86 for their debut in the 6-hour classic at Mt. Panorama Circuit. In the thick of the front running class action right from the start of the race their pace and excellent car preparation netted them a trip to the podium.

Buoyed by that success 11 Racing, a leading Australian-New Zealand production car racing team, has set its sights on returning to the race this year with a strengthened roster that can aim for the win.

The drivers – Murray, Graeme and Davide – that finished on the podium in last year’s race (which was in fact the fastest in the 6-hour’s history with the winning car covering over 800 km) will be reunited in the Toyota 86 while a second car will be entered with driver line up put together that can also get the job done and chase for the win: New Zealanders Reid Harker and Brad McDonald and Malaysia’s Adrian D’Silva.

The team is looking to build on last year’s success and believes its plans for this year demonstrate an uncompromising approach to this race. 11 Racing is confident it now has two well rounded and highly experienced driver line ups that will both be equally capable of mounting a challenge to win. The target is victory and to have both cars finish on the podium.

But 11 Racing’s very aware there will be ultra-tough competition from big and very strong entry in this highly competitive class, including several other Toyota 86s and lots of experienced drivers. Such is the prestige of the 6 Hour now that it’s attracting swathes of top-level drivers. So, everyone at 11 Racing is going to have to work really hard and going to have raise their game, be very well prepared and keep pushing and pushing to achieve these ambitions.

Toyota 86 No 58

The No 58 entry is led out Murray and Graeme. Last year was the first time they had ever raced together in their careers. Their first race together netted a podium – so it was a great start! Murray is an experienced Australian production car racer recently finishing the Queensland Production Championship third in class and third in the Massel Endurance Series while Graeme has enjoyed huge success in sportscars with highlights of that long list includes GT Cup victory in the grueling Sepang 12 Hour, Asian Le Mans Series and Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup titles and a podium in the Bathurst 12 Hour.

They will be joined by Davide who has enjoyed a decade long career at the top of Asia sportscars, racing in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia (PCCA), Asian Le Mans, GT Asia Series and Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia. Key points include winning the Lamborghini Super Trofeo overall (2015) and a class podium at the Spa 24 Hours (2017).

Toyota 86 No 64

In the No 64 entry Reid, Adrian and Brad will all bring individual strengths to the equation. Reid is a young driver who has burst onto the scene in recent years and has plenty of experience of the Toyota 86 thanks to multiple wins in New Zealand’s one make series culminating in him being championship runner up last year. Reid in fact will arrive at the Bathurst 6 Hour fresh from racing in PCCA during the inaugural Vietnam F1 Grand Prix to be held in Hanoi the weekend before.

Adrian has enjoyed a lengthy career that includes stints Asian Touring Cars, Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific, Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, Asian Le Mans Series, Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia and the Intercontinental GT Challenge as well as appearances in several prestigious individual races such as the Sepang 12 Hour and the Macau Grand Prix. Adrian also represented Malaysia in last year’s inaugural FIA Motorsport Games held in Italy. Brad adds into the equation a huge wealth of experience gathered while successfully racing Mazdas over recent years in new Zealand.

Meanwhile, there’s plenty of overlap too. Four of the drivers (Graeme, Davide, Harker, Adrian) have raced in PCCA and while Bradley trained with Earl Bamber in single seaters, Graeme, Adrian and Reid have all driven for Earl Bamber Motorsport in PCCA.

Finally, Davide and Reid are both very well-regarded professional driver coaches so they will bring extra individual strengths to the No 10 and No 12 entries respectively.

Bathurst 6 Hour, Mt Panorama (10-12 April 2020)

Now heading into its fifth edition the Bathurst 6 Hour should be the most exciting yet with a grid of more than 60 cars expected. The race will be shown live and free-to-air on Seven Network. It headlines the Easter weekend ‘Bathurst Motor Festival” which will see five support categories on the bumper programme featuring 13 hours of racing and more than 300 drivers taking part.

Schedule

Friday 08:20 – Practice 1
Friday 13:35 – Practice 2
Saturday 08:20 – Practice 3
Saturday 14:35 – Qualifying Bottom 50%
Saturday 15:10 – Qualifying Top 50%
Sunday 11:30 – Race

DRIVER QUOTES

Murray Dowsett (New Zealand): “2019 was our first year at the mountain and the experience was a very important building block for all of us. Despite the best efforts of drivers and crew we suffered some mechanical trouble late in the race and dropped from 2nd to 3rd but proud of what we achieved first time out. We are coming back bigger and better in 2020 with a two car team focused on maximizing the success of both cars. We are proud to have five experienced and emerging international drivers and an outstanding pit crew who are up to the challenge that is Mount Panorama as well as new backing from our sponsors Diversion Garage and Completion Products.”

Brad McDonald (New Zealand): “This is my first international race start so I am over the moon excited to be given the opportunity. Having been around top-level racing, following the one and only Earl Bamber around, and previously being involved in EBM’s B12HR victory last year I am pinching myself to finally get the opportunity to race at this iconic circuit myself. No amount of preparation can guarantee a result here so all we can do is prepare ourselves as best as possible and then roll the dice on Sunday!”

Reid Harker (New Zealand): “I’m looking forward to jumping back into a Toyota 86 and really excited to get my first taste of Bathurst, a track I’ve always wanted to race on. I’m racing alongside a great bunch of guys so I’m sure we’ll have a blast!”

ABOUT 11 RACING

11 Racing is a leading Australian production car racing team with a current primary focus on Queensland regional championships. Last year 11 Racing debuted in the Bathurst 6 Hour and finished on the podium. For 2020 11 Racing is prioritising a return to the 6 Hour race with an extended 2 car team and an international roster of drivers.

DRIVER BIOS

Murray Dowsett (New Zealand)

Murray is a polished production car racer and heads for the 6 Hour off the back of two strong seasons in the Queensland Production Car Championship behind the wheel of the Toyota 86 that 11 Racing will campaign in Bathurst. The 2019 season finished with a 3rd in the Massel Endurance Series and 3rd place for the season in class. Along with Graeme and Davide, he was a fundamental cog in a stunning debut for the team in the 6 Hour last year which netted a trip to the podium. Strong, fast and able to get the job done, Murray will be a core component in driving forward 11 Racing’s chase for the win this year.

Graeme Dowsett (New Zealand)

Graeme is a highly experienced sportscar racer and the co-founder of Team NZ Motorsport with which he’s enjoyed huge success over the past five years. That roll call of success started with a sensational debut category win in the gruelling Sepang 12 Hours in 2016, the occasion of the team’s first ever endurance race entry. He went on to visit the podium in the next year’s edition and also has ‘GT Cup’ championship titles to his name in both the Asian Le Mans Series and Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup after enjoying long class winning streaks in both. Last year the Singapore-based New Zealander focused on a mixed programme in PCCA. Along the way he has also bagged a stunning last gasp podium in the Bathurst 12 Hour and helped to underpin 11 Racing’s superb 6 Hour debut last year which netted a podium so he on a roll on ‘The Mountain’ and will bring pace and proven winning skills to the equation this year.

Davide Rizzo (Italy)

Davide’s Asian sportscar career kick started with two seasons in PCCA in 2011-12 (in the latter year he also mixed continents and netted fifth place in the Italian GT Cup) before a year in Asian Le Mans Series and then the first of 3 seasons in GT Asia Series which got off to a fine start in Asia’s leading ‘GT’ sportscar championship with three wins. In 2015 he won the Lamborghini Super Trofeo outright, claiming two race wins, as well as driving a BBT Ferrari in GT Asia Series to third place in the championship, a feat he repeated with the same team and car the next year with a further two wins along the way. For 2017 he remained with BBT and contested both Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia and Asian Le Mans Series, but this time with a new 488 GT3, as well as the Asian Le Mans Sprint Cup where he turned his skills to prototypes and finished second overall in an LMP2. A terrific year was capped by a trip to the Pro-Am Cup podium in the Spa 24 Hours driving a 488 GT3 for AF Corse. In 2018 it was back to the Asian Le Mans Series, again behind the wheel of an LPM2, and the championship runners up spot, while last year’s highlight was a podium at the Bathurst 6 Hour with 11 Racing.

Brad McDonald (New Zealand)

Brad has enjoyed a lengthy and successful racing career dating back to 2001 when he started racing karts in his native New Zealand. The wins quickly started coming and that meant after five years he graduated to the NZ Formula First (Formula Vee) championship where he was a permanent finisher in the top ten over the next five years. His career took a new direction in 2009 as he switched to racing a car with a roof, a 1963 Ford Anglia, in the always competitive NZ Pre 65 Classic Championship. A string of class wins as well as a few giant-killing overall wins in the rain followed before he moved to the Mazda New Zealand Racing Series in 2013. To date he’s enjoyed a very successful run here driving a Mazda RX7 to the runners up spot twice and the second runners up spot three times. Along the way his family’s tool business has supported Earl Bamber Motorsport in the garage during their Bathurst 12 Hour overall win last year.

Reid Harker (New Zealand)

Reid is a young driver who has burst onto the scene in recent years after graduating from karts and into single seaters through Formula First and Toyota Racing Series. At the same time, he’s raced in production cars, firstly with a BMW and then for the past five years in New Zealand’s one-make series for the Toyota 86. That means he has plenty of experience of the 86 to bring to the 6 Hour thanks to multiple wins and being the championship runner up last year. Reid has also been racing in PCCA during recent seasons and in fact has just confirmed a full year of racing Porsches in this prestigious Asian single make championship.

Adrian D’Silva (Malaysia)

Adrian has a long career that includes started off in Asian Touring Cars before taking in a season in the Ferrari Challenge Asia Pacific and multiple years in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. Synonymous with racing sportscars in Asia, Adrian’s career has taken in premier championships including the Asian Le Mans Series, Blancpain GT World Challenge Asia and the Intercontinental GT Challenge as well as appearances in prestigious individual regional races such as the Sepang 12 Hour, where he became an almost permanent fixture, and premier street classics such as the Macau GT Cup and KL City GT Cup. In another tie up, he was also on the driver roster with Graeme for Team NZ Motorsport’s first ever race in Sepang. Adrian also represented his home nation in last year’s inaugural FIA Motorsport Games, which were held in Italy, where he drove a Porsche 911 GT3-R for “Team Malaysia – Earl Bamber Motorsport” and was partnered by professional star Weiron Tan. It means Adrian starts the 2020 season off in superb form with which to bring to our Bathurst challenge.

Source. FastTrack Media

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