Audi Sport Team Valvoline will field three Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evos in this year’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour with the lineups expected to be filled with works drivers.
Only one of the team’s drivers has been announced so far, as former Virgin Australia Supercars full-timer Garth Tander prepares to be joined by up to eight factory aces.
The three-car effort marks a major step up for the Melbourne Performance Centre-run team after it fielded two factory-backed cars featuring five factory drivers last year.
Team boss Steve McLaughlan is pressing for a strong outright result at the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli season opener in what will be the tenth anniversary of Audi’s first victory at Bathurst.
While the team is keeping most of its three-car driver lineup a closely guarded secret, McLaughlan did reveal that Tander’s rapport with the team makes him “integral”.
“He’s helped move the whole team forward, something we saw most evident during this year’s Australian GT endurance series where he was instrumental in helping Geoff Emery to Audi’s first-ever endurance championship crown,” said McLaughlan.
“As a former Bathurst 1000 and Bathurst 24 Hour winner, his knowledge of Mount Panorama is without question, so we will again be looking to him to get the team up to speed from Friday’s opening practice session.”
The team participated in November’s Challenge Bathurst, running Tander and factory driver Christopher Mies across almost four hours of track time at Mount Panorama ahead of the Bathurst 12 Hour.