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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Lago Set for Bathurst 12H Return

Roger Lago to return to Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12H, featuring Supercars Championship Pirtek Endurance Cup winner Steve Owen…

Photo: Bathurst 12H

Roger Lago and his Lamborghini team will return to the Mountain to chase victory in the Pro-Am class in Febuary’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.

The Queenslander will return to Bathurst with regular co drivers Steve Owen, who with Chaz Mostert recently won the Supercars Championship Pirtek Endurance Cup, and David Russell in his JBS Racing Lamborghini Gallardo R-EX.

The experienced team has been one of the leading privateer outfits in the race since their debut in 2012 and will return for another shot at a class victory next February 2-4.

“We do a good job every year,” Lago said.

The trio finished sixth outright in 2017 and second in the Am division, however were on course for a better result before Russell was hit late in the race by the Competition Motorsport Porsche GT3R, driven at the time by fellow Queenslander Matt Campbell.

“We missed out on the top spot in Am this year. Dave got caught up with Matty at the end of the race and it cost us. Matt was very apologetic after the race and we accepted that, there is no malice there. But Dave wasn’t at fault and it could have been better.

“So hopefully we can do better in ‘Am’ next year. We’ve been runner-up a few times so it would be nice to finish on top.

“Outright is out of the question as I’m an ‘Am’ driver but we should have a good shot in class, as normal.”

Lago said the combination of he and long-time co-drivers Russell and Owen worked well each year.

2018 will mark JBS Racing’s seventh 12-hour campaign, with Russell having been in the car for five of the last six years. Owen first joined the pair in 2015 and has been a mainstay ever since.

“Steve is great and every time he leaves the garage you know the car is going to come back with all four corners. He’s a safe pair of hands,” he said.

“It’s why we put him in for the start of the race every year. He starts, Dave finishes. It’s a good team and it works.”

The Queenslander has had an up-and-down GT season, highlighted by a a trio of second-placed results in Adelaide and a race win at Albert Park to start the Australian GT Championship.

“GT has been a bit up and down for me this year,” Lago explained.

“It started with a good run in Adelaide but there were a few mistakes and it fell away. In the Enduros, we didn’t start at Sydney due to mechanical issues and I made a mistake at Hampton last weekend. I was more disappointed for the team than in myself because we couldn’t fix the car there.

“We’ll be back in at Highlands this week and see what we can do.”

Though now towards the end of its GT3 homologation cycle, Lago said his team would continue to extract the most out of the Reiter-built Lamborghini.

The car qualified 11th outright this year, comfortably the quickest Lamborghini in the field and only narrowly missing the top-10 shootout.

“There’s not much development in the car 12 months on so we will squeeze more out of it.” He said.

Lago’s JBS Lamborghini has been one of the mainstays of the 12-hour since he made his Bathurst debut in 2012.

Russell qualified the car fourth that year, though the team was a non-finisher.

After several challenging years of early non-finishes in the race, the team hit their stride in 2015 when Lago, Russell and Owen finished seventh outright.

The car was 10th the following year, with Luke Youlden replacing a Bentley-bound Russell, before scoring sixth in 2017, their best ever result.

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