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Bathurst 12H

Bathurst 12H Notebook

John Dagys’ pre-race notebook from the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***Jason Bright escaped serious injury following a heavy accident in Saturday morning’s opening qualifying session at the wheel of the No. 5 Skwirk Audi R8 LMS ultra. The V8 Supercars star was transported to a local hospital for a MRI, which came back negative, but will be spending the night for observation.

***Bright’s weekend-ending accident was just one of many to fall victim to the Mountain. The No. 77 AF Corse Ferrari was also forced to withdraw following a heavy hit for Steve Wyatt in Qualifying 2. The No. 68 Motorsports Services Porsche has been forced out as well, resulting in a 40-car starting field. A number of other cars have been repaired following other incidents.

***Maro Engel, claimed the inaugural Allan Simonsen Pole Position Trophy on Saturday.  “I think it is a good time to think back to last year,” Engel said. “We lost a few really good guys, one of them Allan, who was obviously a great guy and very, very, fast in the car. But at the same time I would like to mention Sean Edwards as well, who was a very close friend of mine. The three of us lived in Monaco. I would like to dedicate this to them. Unfortunately it is the way life goes. We shall remember these guys; they are special.”

***The Class B pole-sitting Rotek Racing squad is being supported by Peter Conroy Motorsport, which currently owns the Audi R8 LMS car that’s being driven by Oliver Gavin, Rob Huff, Kevin Gleason and Richard Meins. Rotek is seeking back-to-back endurance race victories, having won December’s Thunderhill 25 Hours with an Audi TT RS.

***The three Fiat Abarth 695 Assetto Corse race cars are equipped with Bosch’s CAS-M (collision avoidance system for motorsport), the same groundbreaking radar-based rear-view monitor technology pioneered by the factory Corvette Racing team in America. The system provides information on the closing speed and path of oncoming traffic from behind.

***The No. 23 Lago Racing Lamborghini, which started the weekend in Class B, will now compete in Class A following upgrades to its Gallardo to put it into 2013 spec. The car had topped the overall time sheets on Friday morning in the hands of David Russell. The V8 Supercars driver will be joined by Roger Lago and Peter Kox, the Dutchman hoping to get his first race laps in three years.

***With ambient temperatures expected to top 100 degrees Fahrenheit, heat could very well play a factor in the race. Teams are also coming to grips with a new track surface, laid down after last year’s Bathurst 1000, which has resulted in a significantly different setups for some competitors.

***Thirty cars in this year’s field are fitted with Michelin tires. The French tire giant brought a total of 1,600 tires and 28 staff to Bathurst. Teams are allowed to use up to 10 sets during the race, not including any potential rain tires.

***Eric Lux, who is among the driving force in the No. 25 United Autosports Audi this weekend, has split with Starworks Motorsport following last month’s Rolex 24 at Daytona. Lux was originally slated to compete in the four-round Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup with the team but is now searching for another ride, in either PC or GTD.

***McLaren GT Project Manager Andrew Kirkaldy, who is moonlighting in the VIP McLaren MP4-12C this weekend, confirmed to Sportscar365 that two of the GT3 cars have been sold to a “very strong team” for Pirelli World Challenge. Kirkaldy hopes to have a GTD-spec McLaren running in the TUDOR Championship by the end of the year as well.

***HTP Motorsport could also compete in PWC later this year, with the German squad determined to bring at least one of its Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3s Stateside. While a GTD effort in the TUDOR Championship is the primary goal, an entirely new brake system would have to be developed for the car, due to ABS not being allowed. The team, however, is hopeful that AMG would support the necessary changes.

***Watch live flag-to-flag coverage of the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour on the series’ official website, beginning at 6 a.m. local time (Saturday, 2 p.m. ET). Included is radio commentary from Radio Le Mans, which is on site for the third consecutive year.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John


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