M Motorsport has swapped its KTM X-Bow GT2 for an Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo II during the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour event after the former car developed an issue in practice.
David Crampton was driving the KTM during the second session on Friday when the vehicle suddenly lost power with an engine-related problem.
M Motorsport team members then went over to Melbourne Performance Centre, which is running several GT3 Audis, and reached an agreement to borrow its spare chassis.
The team has adjusted its driver lineup for the change of car: Jayden Ojeda has stepped aside and Crampton will share the Audi with Trent Harrison and Glen Wood.
Four-driver GT3 lineups require at least two drivers to be Bronze-rated. Because Crampton is the only Bronze in the M Motorsport crew, one of the Silvers had to forfeit.
“This morning went really well – Jaden and Trent got the same times,” Crampton explained.
“I jumped in for Practice 2 and it was going really well. On the fifth or six lap, I turned out of Turn 2 and lost all power. The wastegate warning light came on.
“It was literally the same problem at the same place at the Bathurst International. Within an hour, we made a decision to run the Audi. The guys had put so much work in.”
Crampton drove the Audi in Practice 4 on Friday afternoon and the M Motorsport drivers will get further track time today in preparation for the race.
“I’ve driven the GT3 but it wasn’t for a race, just a track day,” he said. “I was strapped in for Practice 4 until that MARC car lost its brakes [causing a red flag].
“It’s actually more difficult to get in than the KTM, surprisingly! There’s a lot to learn and the mechanics will learn a lot. Once you understand, it’s user-friendly.”
He described Friday as an “emotional rollercoaster” for the M Motorsport team, which entered the GT2-spec KTM into the same event last year.
“They made me sit in the car by myself and have a five-minute think before making a decision,” Crampton recalled.
“The more I thought about it, I thought, ‘stuff it, we’re going to do this’. It was either go home after spending a lot of budget, or push on and go the extra level.”
The M Motorsport car switch increases the GT3 field for the Bathurst 12H to 21 entries.