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Feb 08, 2014 - 05:22 PM
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Erebus Breaks Qualifying Lap Record To Claim Pole At Bathurst
Posted by: newsla on Feb 08, 2014 - 05:19 PM
Sports Cars
Erebus Breaks Qualifying Lap Record To Claim Pole At Bathurst


As he had done at Macau just two short months ago, Erebus Motorsport’s Maro Engel has claimed pole position ahead of the team’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12-Hour title defence, the German running at or near the top of the time sheets throughout the three scheduled sessions.

 

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At one stage it looked as if it would be an Erebus SLS white-wash, with Will Davison jumping up to second before a late session charge dropped him back to fourth as he returned to pit lane - in the end just three tenths separated him from P2.

Engel was comfortably within reach of the ‘Allan Simonsen Pole Position Trophy’ from the opening session, but he left the best till last, claiming a stunning 2:03.8586 just minutes away from the close of the 115-minutes scheduled across the three sessions, in the process bettering former F1 driver Mika Salo who had earlier lowered the track record to a 2:03.9421.

“The car was awesome, I loved it,” Engel admitted post-session. “I had a great time, enjoyed myself and got the job done. We were hoping for a clear lap - I lost a bit on one lap behind an Audi, on the second lap I came up on a Ferrari which cost a bit again, so I started the third with the edge just going off the tyres but I was able to do it.”

Like Engel, Davison too became caught up in traffic on his hot lap, falling just three tenths of a second short of a front row start, the top four covered by the smallest of margins.

“I keep looking for tenths, but it’s hard to put together a perfect lap with so much traffic and dramatically different track speeds,” Davison admitted. “It would have been nice to have a front row lockout, but it wasn’t to be. That said, it’s a 12 hour race, so starting position isn’t as vital as it is in a sprint race - we’ve got plenty of time to work ourselves towards the front.”

2013 was a memorable year for the all-conquering SLS AMG GT3, and the most awarded driver on the international stage was 2013 Bathurst 12-Hour champion Bernd Schneider, but it was Engel who qualified the car and not the former F1 and DTM star.

“Yes, I am really happy - [the car is] very quick and with a race set up, full tanks and harder rubber, it was really, really good. It’s a bit easier this year for me, we have a good team. It’s good to be on pole position but when the race starts tomorrow we start over again. I have to bring it home.”

The third member of the team, rising young German star Nico Bastian too was reflective of the team’s performance on qualifying day, but confident they’ll be ready come 6:15am tomorrow morning.

“On full tanks with the medium tyre I am really happy with the lap times. Bernd was very happy with the car and so was I. Tomorrow is a long day, 12 hours around Bathurst for sure will be very interesting, I’m really looking forward to it.”

For much of the second leg of qualifying - which again was marred by incidents and red flag periods - Erebus Academy driver Jack Le Brocq was behind the wheel of the #63 SLS AMG, and at one stage holding down P2.

“I was very happy with my drive,” he admitted with a grin. “I got a little over-steer early, but being on the harder rubber with full tanks it was fine, and it gave us some important data for tomorrow. I got baulked twice, which cost me just that little bit, but overall I’m pleased with my pace.”

Greg Crick too continued to find time in the Erebus SLS AMG, admitting that the closing speed on some of the slower cars caused him a ‘moment’ or two across the top of the mountain.

“I thought I was going to wear a Suzuki on top of the mountain,” he revealed. “I touched him - he’d let a Lamborghini through and I thought he had seen me, but clearly he hadn’t. That’s one of the traps of an event like this and something that could have a big impact on the result tomorrow.

“I’m really stoked with the car, and the chance to do a good few laps in race trim with full tanks and race rubber was important. In the end we were running about the pace we will run in the race.”

So on the eve of their title defence, the Erebus Motorsport GT team are all smiles, but today was only the beginning, tomorrow is when it all counts.

“We’re very happy with the way today has played out,” Daniel Klimenko, Team Principal of Erebus Motorsport GT said. “All the guys have shown they are quick. Look at Jack [Le Brocq], he did limited laps in the car but gets straight down into the sixes (2:06.01), and is right on the pace straight away. And Greg [Crick], what can you say - the guy was a thorn in our sides for years - he’s always quick. I mean, how good is it to have him as your unseeded driver?”

2014 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12-Hour
Qualifying (Mount Panorama, Bathurst - 8 February)
01. 1. Schneider/Engel/Bastian (Erebus Motorsport SLS AMG GT3) - 2:03.8586
02. 88. Edwards/Bowe/Lowndes/Salo (Ferrari 458 Italia GT3) - 2:03.9421
03. 37. Quinn/Quinn/Kirkaldy/Van Gisbergen (McLaren MP4-12C) - 2:04.0006
04. 63. Davison/Le Brocq/Crick (Erebus Motorsport SLS AMG GT3) - 2:04.2563
05. 32. Kelly/Chiyo/Buncombe/Reip (Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3) - 2:04.8228
06. 23. Lago/Russell/Kox (Lamborghini Gallardo FLII GT3) - 2:05.0320
07. 9. Cini/Eddy/Mies (Audi R8 LMS ultra) - 2:05.5919
08. 3. Frey/Rast/Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS ultra) - 2:05.5946
09. 25. Patterson/Lux/Winkelhock (Audi R8 LMS ultra) - 2:05.7175
10. 48. McMillan/Richards/Wood/Lilley (Lamborghini Gallardo FLII GT3) - 2:06.3498

The 2014 Bathurst 12-Hour will get underway at 6:15am on Sunday, February 9.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CAR#1

Bernd Schneider
• 5x time DTM Champion (1995, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006)
• FIA GT Champion (1997)
• Former Formula 1 driver (1988-1990)
• First German World Karting Champion (1980)
• Dubai 24 Hour winner (2013)
• Bathurst 12-Hour winner (2013)
• 24 Hours of Nürburgring winner (2013)
• 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps winner (2013)
• 1000km Nürburgring Blancpain Series winner (2013)
• 12 Hours of Abu Dhabi winner (2013)

Maro Engel
• pole-sitter Macau GT Cup, Erebus Motorsport GT (2013)
• V8 Supercar Series, Erebus Motorsport V8 (2013)
• Winner of Rnd#5, 2012 Australian GT Championship (Erebus Motorsport GT)
• AMG Ambassador, AMG Driver Academy trainer (2012-present)
• DTM driver, Mucke Motorsports (AMG) - 2008-2011
• British Formula 3 - runner-up (2007)
• British Formula 3 - 5th (2006)
• Italian Formula 3000 (2005)

Nico Bastian
• 24 Hours of Nürburgring - 3rd (2013)
• VLN Endurance Championship (2012)
• MINI Challenge Champion (2011)
• MINI Challenge (2008-2011)
• VW Polo Cup (2007)

CAR#63

Will Davison
• Third in V8 Supercar Championship (2013)
• 16 race victories in the V8 Supercar Championship Series
• Bathurst 1000 winner (2009)
• Winner, Barry Sheene Medal (2009)
• Second in V8 Supercar Championship (2009)
• Sixth in A1GP series at Eastern Creek (2005)
• Tested for Minardi Formula 1 Team at Misano (2004)
• Round winner, British Formula 3 Championship (2003)
• Fourth in UK Formula Renault Championship (2002)
• Australian Formula Ford Champion (2001)

Jack LeBrocq
• Winner of Rnd#3/4, 2013 Australian GT Championship (Erebus Motorsport GT)
• Australian Formula Ford Champion (2012)
• Australian Formula Ford ‘Rookie of the Year’ (2011)

Greg Crick
• Touring Car Masters - 7th (2013)
• Australian GT Championship - 4th (2012)
• Australian GT Championship - 3rd (2011)
• Australian GT Championship - winner Rnd#2, Mt Panorama (2006)
• 2x Targa Tasmania Champion (1992-1993)
• Australian Sports Sedan Champion (1991)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About Erebus Motorsport;
• Founded in 2011.
• Pole position for 2014 Bathurst 12-Hour.
• Won 2013 Bathurst 12 Hour.
• Won six races in the 2013 Australian GT Championship.
• Won on debut with Mika Hakkinen in the 2013 GT Asia Series at Zhuhai (China).
• Brought AMG Customer Sports to the V8 Supercars Championship from 2013.
• Awarded 2011’s AMG Customer Sports Program ‘Best Presented Car’.
• In Greek mythology, Erebus (darkness) is the father of Light (Ether), the son of Chaos and the brother of Eros - the love God.

The Erebus Motorsport GT team enjoy combined support from MotorActive, Actros Trucks, Snap-On, BLK, Michelin, Kings Apparel and Wrap My Ride.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AMG Customer Sports 2013 season;
• 38 overall victories (8 to Erebus Motorsport)
• Eight victories in endurance races
• 31 class victories (8 to Erebus Motorsport)
• 82 podium positions (9 to Erebus Motorsport)
• 217 Top Ten positions
• 27 Pole Positions (6 to Erebus Motorsport)
• 14 fastest laps
• 170 starts

SLS AMG GT3 2013 Feature wins;
• 24 Hours of Dubai (January 2013) - Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon
(Al Quibaisi/Schneider/Bleekemolen/Edwards)

• Bathurst 12-Hour (February 2013) - Erebus Motorsport
(Schneider/Jaeger/Roloff)

• 24 Hours of Nürburgring (May 2013) - Black Falcon
(Schneider/Thiim/Bleekemolen/Edwards)

• 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps - (July 2013) - HTP Motorsport
(Schneider/Buhk/Gotz )

• 1000km Nürburgring Blancpain Series (September 2013) - HTP Motorsport
(Schneider/Buhk/Gotz )

• 12 Hours of Abu Dhabi (December 2013) - Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon
(Al Quibaisi/Schneider/Bleekemolen)

SLS AMG GT3 Specifications
Length: 4710mm
Width: 1990mm
Height: 1195mm
Weight: 1355kg
Wheelbase: 2680mm
Front Track: 1686mm
Rear Track: 1644mm
Rear Wing width: 1931mm
Rear Wing height: 1191mm
Wheels: 18” AMG light alloy, central locking
Tyres: Michelin
Suspension: Double wishbone, aluminium construction
Brakes: 10-stage adjustable ABS
Doors: SLS Gullwing Doors
Construction: Aluminium with carbon-fibre exterior components

Performance:
Engine: AMG 6.3-litre V8
Power: 563bhp/420kW@6800rpm
Torque: 650Nm/480lb:ft@4750rpm
Maximum Revs: 7200rpm
Top Speed: >300kph/>186mph
0-100kph: 3.7 seconds
Gearbox: 6-speed sequential gearbox with steering wheel paddle shift
BOP (Balance of Performance): Category imposed parity restrictions


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