***Maranello Motorsport will not be on the grid for Sunday’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, after it was unable to reach a deal to purchase AF Corse’s spare Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 that’s on-site. The team wrecked its Prancing Horse on Friday, which sent driver Tony D’Alberto to the hospital for precautionary checks.
***A total of 50 cars are now expected to take the green, following the withdrawal of the No. 38 Pelorus/Wall Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car (Class B), which also suffered an accident on Friday.
***Craft-Bamboo Racing received help from Tony Quinn to get its No. 99 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 back on track today. Parts from Quinn’s Australian GT Aston were freighted in from Melbourne overnight following Jean-Marc Merlin’s accident with D’Alberto on Friday.
***The M-Sport Bentley team, meanwhile, worked until 5 a.m. this morning making repairs to its No. 11 Bentley Continental GT3, which had to be sent to a local body shop after its accident in Friday afternoon practice.
***Bentley Motorsport director Brian Gush revealed they are targeting to have up to 30 Bentley Continental GT3s competing worldwide, as part of a controlled customer program for the V8-powered beast, which makes its Bathurst debut this weekend.
***Gush reiterated they are happy with the current GT3 platform, with no plans of building a GTE-spec Bentley. However, he admitted Bentley would return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans should GT3 cars become eligible for the French endurance classic.
***Will tomorrow’s race see a new manufacturer claim victory? Seven different brands have won the race outright in the past: Toyota, Mazda, Mitsubishi, BMW, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari. Both Bentley and Nissan hold the best chances, with both factory efforts having shown promising pace.
***Event promoters have partnered with Raceline Events to host the first-ever Bathurst 12 Hour Supershow. The auto show, located behind the main grandstand on the pit straight, will feature a number of super cars, including an array of Bentley Continentals.
***Full coverage of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour will be available on the series’ official Web site, with the race getting underway Sunday at 5:50 a.m. local (Saturday, 1:50 p.m. ET). For Australian viewers, the entire race will be carried live on Channel 7 and 7Mate. Click Here for the race’s coverage guide.