A shipping delay has left Bentley Team M-Sport without any of its equipment, including its two Continental GT3 cars, with just hours prior to the start of on-track activity for this weekend’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
The British squad, which returns to Mt. Panorama for the fourth consecutive year, is awaiting its sea freight, which was due to arrive in Australia last month but was delayed by an apparent engine failure on the ship.
Support equipment from Strakka Racing, which makes its debut with Mercedes-AMG GT3s, were also on board the ship, which docked in Melbourne early this morning.
It’s understood the equipment is now making the 500-mile journey via truck to the circuit, and is expected to arrive early tomorrow morning.
M-Sport team manager Matthew Wilson told speedcafe.com they expect to be on-track for opening practice, which gets underway at 8:25 a.m. local time.
“We have got plans in place to get people in as soon as everything arrives,” Wilson said. “Whatever happens we will be ready for the first practice.
“At the end of the day the brilliant thing is this is our fourth time here. The car is very well sorted.
“It is not ideal but we will make it work. We have just got to prioritize the things that are imminent for Friday and work through in a logical manner.”
As reported by speedcafe.com, Strakka has received support from the local Scott Taylor Motorsport squad in spare parts for its pair of brand-new Mercedes GT3 cars.
Bentley and Strakka aren’t the only Bathurst 12 Hour teams to have faced shipping dramas.
Manthey Racing, which had its equipment on a seperate sea-freighter, ended up air-freighting a spare Porsche 911 GT3 R to Australia after initial fears its shipment wouldn’t arrive in time.
The German squad has both cars in the paddock this weekend.