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Dec 10, 2013 - 11:18 AM
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Allan Simonsen Pole Award and New Format announced for 2014 12 hour
Posted by: newsla on Dec 10, 2013 - 11:13 AM
Sports Cars
Allan Simonsen Pole Award and New Format announced for 2014 12 hour


THE FASTEST man in Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour history will be remembered on qualifying day at the 2014 Event, next February.

 

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The Allan Simonsen Pole Position Trophy will be inaugurated next year to be awarded to the fastest qualifier for the race – an ongoing tribute to one of the most spectacular drivers ever to compete in the Bathurst 12 Hour.

The new pole award announcement comes with confirmation of a new qualifying format for the Event that could potentially see incredible times posted on Saturday afternoon – the ultimate ‘tip of the hat’ to the always speedy Dane.

Gone are the ‘benchmark’ lap time requirements and aggregate qualifying times used to decide the grid in previous years and in its place comes a 15-minute shootout for the outright (Class A – International GT3) vehicles, designed to allow them to battle it out for pole position without slower traffic potentially impeding their way.

Three qualifying sessions will be held on Saturday, one each in the morning and afternoon for the entire field.

Once those sessions are complete, a further 15-minute session will be allocated for the cars battling for the outright pole to have their attempt at a Bathurst one-lap stunner.

The car with the fastest time overall at the end of Saturday will win the Allan Simonsen Pole Position Trophy for the first time.

Though Simonsen never actually scored pole position for the race, he set both the 12 Hour race lap record and the fastest official lap by a closed-wheel car at the famous 6.213km circuit prior to his tragic passing in an accident at LeMans in June.

He still holds both benchmarks, the fastest laps to be set on the ‘old’ surface prior to the current resurfacing presently underway.

Driving a Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3, Simonsen actually set the fastest time in qualifying for the 2013 Event however his lap – a stunning 2m05.49s effort – was beneath the 2m06-second ‘benchmark’ time allowed in qualifying, however that rule has been removed for 2014 allowing drivers to lap as quickly as possible.

A new trophy is currently being created to aptly reward the pole sitting combination, to be unveiled at the Event prior to qualifying on Saturday February 8, 2014.

The Allan Simonsen Pole Trophy comes with the blessing of the Simonsen Family and with the support of Allan’s Australian team, Maranello Motorsport.

“The Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour team has the full support of our family to create the Allan Simonsen Pole Position trophy,” said Benny Simonsen, Allan’s younger brother and fellow GT racer.

“He told me that Bathurst was his favourite track and he just loved to go there. It is an honour to have the pole position award to be named after him.”

The trophy will be a unique way for fan-favourite Simonsen to be immortalised as part of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour Event.

“It was always our intention to honour the memory of Allan in some form at the 2014 Event, and this seemed like the most appropriate way given the fact fans and his rivals alike remember Allan for his blinding speed at Mount Panorama,” said Event Director, James O’Brien.

“Qualifying on pole at Mount Panorama is always a major achievement given it is one of the toughest laps in motorsport. Now it will mean even more and ensure the stakes on the Saturday of the 2014 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour will be high.

“The Allan Simonsen Pole Position Trophy will be one everyone wants to win. Our thanks go to Mark Coffey and Maranello Motorsport, and the Simonsen family for making this possible.”

Entries for the 2014 Event close this Friday, December 13 with the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour to be held on February 7-9, 2014.


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