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Jan 01, 2014 - 04:54 PM
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Jason Clements In BMW M3 GTR For Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour
Posted by: newsla on Jan 01, 2014 - 04:53 PM
Sports Cars
Jason Clements In BMW M3 GTR For Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour


Fast cars are no stranger to the talented Ballina racing driver Jason Clements who has driven some of the world's greatest racing cars, but the best is yet to come, as he excitedly prepares for his biggest challenge yet, the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour race on February 7-9 at Bathurst's iconic 6.2km Mount Panorama racing circuit.

 

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The annual Bathurst round the clock race is regarded as one of the world's most prestigious international GT endurance races, and the Pacific Garage proprietor will be driving what real showpiece of cars, a magnificent BMW E46 M3 GTR with two Queenslanders, the car owner Anthony Gilbertson and Angus Chapel.

An extremely highly regarded driver, and like Clements a BMW specialist, Gilbertson will go to next month's event as a defending class champion, having won the Production car title last year on the mountain in a BMW 335i with Parkes driver Peter O'Donnell and the young Kiwi sensation Andre Heimgartner.

A resident of Goonellabah, Clements was asked by Gilbertson mid way through 2013 to join himself and Chapel in the M3 GTR to contest the event as a real chance of victory in Class D, which is invitational for cars over 4000cc.

"It's is a fantastic opportunity that has been presented to me by Anthony to drive his BMW GTR at Bathurst in the 12 hour, and I'm especially looking forward to this meeting as I've wanted to get into more endurance type races for quite a while. The car will be protected by my long term supporters Penrite oils and Ryco filter for 12 gruelling hours around the mountain and will be kept in top tune by Iain from Motec."

"I'm really thrilled to be part of what is an extremely professional team with two high class drivers in a magnificent motor car, and I think we'll work well together.

Gilbertson and Chapel, a vastly experienced endurance race driver at circuits all around the globe, had noticed Clements race his own BMW M3 in Improved Production over the last few years, and were impressed by the fact that he was fast in the car, and also had mechanical sympathy, which would stem from being in the automotive industry. Also a huge bonus would have been the Ballina drivers great attitude and the way in which he presents his car and team to sponsors and supporters.

During his motor racing career, Clements a former kart champion, has raced Lola T8600 IndyCar in historic races. The Lola is owned by fellow Ballina motor sport enthusiast Graham Mein, and has incredible history, as it finished fourth in the famous 1986 Indianapolis 500 in the hands of Al Unser Jnr.

"I've been lucky to have driven cars like the Lola, which we qualified in the top 3 at every outing, and at an Eastern Creek meeting finished on the podium in every race including a win in the last," Clements said.

Clements has also driven a Formula 2 Ralt RT4 Formula Atlantic, and other cars including his own BMW M3 Improved Production car, in which he has been a constant front runner for several seasons racing at all Queensland circuits in the state Improved Production championship.

He has also had experience racing at Bathurst, when he drove his M3 at the 2012 Bathurst Motor Festival at Easter, while perhaps his finest performance to date was when he finished fourth outright against almost 100 competitors in the 2013 Improved Production Nationals conducted at Morgan Park.

The Gilbertson team will travel south to Bathurst buoyed by a having had a most successful test day in the at the Queensland Raceway a week prior to Christmas.

"It was an awesome day out testing with the team getting ready for the Bathurst 12 hour. Anthony (Gilbertson), Angus (Chapel) and myself all drove the car. It was very productive day with some great feedback.

"I'm feeling very excited, and really want to thanks Anthony and Angus, and of course my family for their unwavering support," Clements said.

Following the test, Gilbertson messaged Clements on facebook.

"Thanks Jason, it was great to have you and Gus driving as well as the rest of the team. It's going to be great having such an awesome team that really get along well tackling the 12 hour. I think we are really going to turn a few heads," Gilbertson said.

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