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Feb 06, 2014 - 06:10 AM
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Stage Set For Spectacular Bathurst 12 Hour Show
Posted by: newsla on Feb 06, 2014 - 06:09 AM
Sports Cars
Stage Set For Spectacular Bathurst 12 Hour Show


ALL IS IN readiness for the 2014 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour ahead the first on-track running commencing tomorrow (Friday) morning.

 

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44 car and driver combinations are set up in the Mount Panorama garages and the most competitive 12-hour field on record is set to head into battle on the newly-resurfaced 6.213 km circuit tomorrow morning.

Star drivers and their star cars were welcomed to Bathurst this morning during a formal launch held in pit lane, defending champion Bernd Schneider, V8 stars but 12-hour rookies Will Davison and Rick Kelly plus former Formula 1 star Markus Winkelhock all met the media this morning and gave their thoughts about their chances for Bathurst victory.

Nissan are making their official return to the Mountain for the first time since 1992 this weekend – and it’s also the first time that a factory Nissan team from Japan has raced at the Mountain since 1966!

Nissan formally unveiled their car and crew in a media call this morning before the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 was this morning lined up with its contemporaries from Mercedes Benz / AMG, Audi, Ferrari and Lamborghini amongst the battle of the brands that is the outright class in this year’s race.

Defending champions Erebus Motorsport were represented by their respective Australian and German entries today – Will Davison and Bernd Schneider arguing over which side of the Mercedes Benz-team garage would take the trophy home on Sunday evening.

Meanwhile, 2012 British Touring Car Champion Gordon Shedden arrived in Australia for the first time yesterday and got his first look at the Mountain today – he’ll drive the Motionsport Lotus Exige S entered in class C this weekend.

Shedden joins a group of stars from Touring Car racing on the Mountain this weekend, including 2012 World Touring Car Champion, Rob Huff.

The works-entered three-car FIAT team showed off their trio of stunning Abarth racers, promising that their diminutive size won’t result in an equal lack of pace when they hit the track tomorrow.

Star drivers Paul Stokell, Luke Youlden and Luke Ellery each lead the way in one car and are paired with leading Motorsport Journalists – who are likely to get a multitude of story ideas across the course of 12-hours on Sunday.

Practice commences at 7:45 am Friday Morning (February 7).

Click here for full TV details and information.

QUOTEBOARD - THURUSDAY

Oliver Gavin (Four time ALMS champion) - #14 Rotek Racing Audi R8-LMS

“The reason for coming here because Mount Panorama is one of the best track in the world. Its an amazing event to have a 12 hour race around this place. Its going to be phenomenal to be part of this event. Its only when you really walk around the track for the first time that you start to see the challenge I’m taking on.

“Back in the 1980’s I was watching the Bathurst 1000 on the BBC and the likes of Peter Brock and John Bowe as a small boy. The ability to turn a bit of a boyhood dream into a reality is pretty special. I wanted to come here to challenge myself. I’ve raced in all sorts of races and I’m sure this is going to be a great highlight. I would like to do this event every year if I could. I have already seen enough here to make me want to come back. This event is growing internationally and the amount of people I’ve spoken to in the last month about the event are all desperate to be here.”

Markus Winkelhock (FIA GT1 champion 2012 and ex-F1 driver) - #25 United Autosports Audi R8-LMS

“This track and event is going to be quite challenging but I am a driving who adapts to new tracks quite quickly so that should help me. Its not a normal track and for me it is like a mix of the Nurburgring Nordschelife and a city street circuit and I like both of those type of circuits. It should fit my driving style. Every year I have wanted to come here so I’m so glad to be finally here. The race is long so we will have to wait and see how we will go but the target is to finish on the podium.”

Gordon Shedden (British Touring Car Champion 2012) - #55 Compereinsurance.com.au Lotus Exige S (Class C GT4)

“Its a great opportunity to race an iconic race track in an iconic British sportscar. I will approach it with the respect which Bathurst deserves and it is easily one of the top five circuits in the world. Its challenge it is going to be difficult but its a good one. Motorsport in Australia is like premiership football in England with the passion people have for it. I cannot wait to get out there and get racing.”

Maro Engel (Former DTM and V8 Supercar driver) - #1 Erebus Motorsport Mercedes SLS AMG GT3

“Its a great event its awesome to be here. I have had a few outings with Erebus Motorsport in the GT cars and I’ve really enjoyed them. I think we have a strong driver line up with Bernd Schneider and Nico Bastian, and a great team, so I’m looking forward to taking the SLS over the mountain. We all know this a very special race track so its fantastic to have the chance to win an event like this.”

Bernd Schneider (Bathurst 12 Hour winner 2013 and five times DTM champion) - #1 Erebus Motorsport Mercedes SLS AMG GT3

“To start the season like we did last year with victory would be amazing but it is getting very hard as everyone is very well prepared. I like the combination of working with different drivers in a team scenario in endurance races. They are long races and anything can happen. I think we have a good chance of winning the event again with this team. If everything comes together then we have every chance.”

Will Davison (V8 Supercars star) - #63 Erebus Motorsport Mercedes SLS AMG GT3

“I feel very spoilt to be driving this Erebus Mercedes SLS rocket ship. It is an absolutely beautiful car to drive round the mountain. I think we will be in the mix come the end of the race as we have a great team and driver line up. This is my first 12 hour race and its a privilege to be part of this program. We have pretty high expectations.”

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