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Feb 13, 2014 - 06:26 AM
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Brake Failure Robs Mawer’s Bathurst Class Win
Posted by: newsla on Feb 13, 2014 - 06:23 AM
Sports Cars
Brake Failure Robs Mawer’s Bathurst Class Win


Barton Mawer cemented the Rentcorp team’s Class B lead, despite failing brakes that subsequently ended his Bathurst 12-hour challenge [Darren Symonds photo].

 

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Barton Mawer will remember the 2014 Bathurst 12-hour race as ‘one that got away’.

Mawer and co-drivers Richard Muscat and Duvashen Padayachee were leading Class B near the halfway mark, when their #45 Rentcorp Porsche 997 GT3 Cup crashed out of the race with brake failure.

After the Sydney driver had qualified the car a conservative 18th in the 40-car field, Muscat and then Padayachee moved steadily up the order to be first in class and eighth outright after three hours.

Mawer took his first driving stint an hour later, and despite a mysterious deterioration in the braking he consolidated the class lead during his 37 laps around the 6.2km public road circuit.

But two laps after Padayachee began his second stint, the car ran straight on at Hell Corner at the end of Pit Straight.

Although that only cost two positions, the brakes failed again two laps later with more serious consequences.

This time it happened at the high-speed approach to The Chase, and the German GT slewed sideways at more than 250km/h.

It slid off the track and across the infield sand trap to the S-bend, which launched it into the air.

The car cleared the full width of the track, and landed hard in the sand trap on the other side.

Unable to continue unaided, it was loaded onto a tilt-tray truck for the short return trip to the pits.

Only then were the front brake pads, which should have lasted the entire race, found to be completely worn out.

2014-02-09 Bathurst 12-Hour (Mt Panorama) #45 worn brake pads [D.Padayachee].jpg

The worn-out brake pads that ended the Rentcorp team’s Bathurst 12-Hour challenge [Duvashen Padayachee photo]

The incident ended the Rentcorp team’s chances of taking the Class B win that had been theirs for the taking.

Nevertheless the battered machine was patched up in an attempt to finish the race in a respectable position.

With Padayachee suffering ill-effects from the crash, Mawer returned to the track some 70 laps behind the leaders.

The car wasn’t right, though, and after struggling on for another 53 laps it was retired from the race.

Naturally Mawer was extremely disappointed with the outcome.

"It’s always frustrating when something goes wrong with the car when you’re in a position to win, but that’s part of motorsport," he said.

"Our strategy had been perfect until the brake problem.

"I only did a handful of laps in practice to give the other drivers more seat-time.

"Even in qualifying I didn’t push too hard because starting positions aren’t as important in endurance races as in short ones.

"I could have gone about a second quicker, but it would have been an unnecessary risk and only would have put us a couple of places higher.

"Our race plan was perfect too. Although we weren’t lapping as fast as the teams ahead of us, they all struck trouble.

"Most of them blew tyres, which is usually a sign of too much negative camber in the suspension.

"It gives more grip, but it also puts more strain on the tyres. It’s critical at Mt Panorama, because the stints are long and the speeds are very high for a lot of the lap.

"We’re not sure why the brake pads on our car wore out, but that’s history now so I’ll chalk it up as ‘one that got away’.

"I was happy with my driving, and just hope that we get another chance to finish the job in next year’s 12-hour!

"Thanks to the Rentcorp team for asking me to drive for them, and to my personal sponsor Dyno Dynamics."

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