2013 BATHURST 12 HOUR
Erebus Motorsport has ended Audi’s recent dominance of the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12-Hour endurance race in a drama filled race at 'the mountain'.
The number 36 Mercedes Benz SLS AMG covered 268 laps and led home a podium that also consisted of the number 33 Clearwater Racing Ferrari 458 and the number 5 VIP Pet Foods Porsche GT3-R.
However it was not a victory that came easily as traffic on track and the weather kept drivers and teams on their toes until the very last lap.
Traffic was the major issue of the day. It only took the front runners three laps before they were lapping back markers and the near capacity field of 52 starters meant that there were plenty of retirements.
The safety car was required on no less than 15 occasions which easily smashed the old record for a Bathurst 12 Hour race, set at nine. More than three hours of the total race distance was spent behind the safety car.
The weather bureau’s prediction of wild weather materialised after ten hours and 14 minutes of racing, with the passing shower leaving teams in two minds over wet weather tyre strategy.
Thirty minutes later, Erebus’ chances of a one-two podium finish were dashed when the second placed number 63 SLS AMG collided with a back marker after a safety car restart, causing damaged steering. The car was repaired and re-joined at the 11 hour, ten minute mark but could only manage to finish sixth.
Rain returned with a vengeance with only ten minutes remaining in the race, bringing with it strong winds that blew rubbish onto the racing surface and causing a dramatic drop in temperature.
The leaders took no chances, electing to pit and changing back to wet weather rubber despite the race nearing its conclusion.
Despite failing to defend their crown, the R8 LMS Audis did manage to fill four of the top ten places outright. While on the other hand, the Erebus SLS AMG played bridesmaid to Audi in the 2012 event, managing to go one better in 2013.
Special mentions go to the number 30 Hunter Sports Group Porsche 997 GT3 Cup, which was the only non Class A entry to finish in the top ten (ninth) and the ageing number 44 VY Holden Commodore of Mal Rose Motorsport, which not only won Invitational Class Three but also finished twelfth outright, proving that there is life in the old girl yet.
The “race within a race” was won by the number 5 Quinn/Quinn/Van Gisbergen VIP Pet Foods Porsche 997 GT3-R after 14-laps - the first fifty minutes of the 12 Hour counting as Round One of the Australian GT Championship.
Second place of the GT Championship 14-lapper went to the number 88 Edwards/Bowe/Simonsen/Salo Ferrari 458.
- 36A - B.Schneider/T.Jaeger/A.Roloff - Erebus Motorsport - Mercedes SLS AMG GT3
- 33A - M.Sun/C.Baird/M.Griffin - Clearwater Racing - Ferrari F458 (fastest lap)
- 5A - K.Quinn/S.Gisbergen/M.Kingsley - VIP Petfoods - Porsche 911 GT3 R
- 1A - J.Kristoffersson/H.Primat/A.Simonson Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS Ultra
- 9A - M.Eddy/M.Cini/D.Grant/C.Mies - Network Clothing / Hallmarc - Audi R8 LMS Ultra
- 63A - T.Slade/L.Holdsworth/P.Hackett - Erebus Motorsport - Mercedes SLS AMG GT3
- 58A - S.Wyatt/M.Rugolo/M.Cioci - AF Corse SRL - Ferrari F458
- 14A - P.Conroy/R.Huff/J.Winslow - Peter Conroy Motorsport - Audi R8 LMS
- 30B - D.Russell/S.Johnson/J.Reid - Hunter Sports Group - Porsche 997 GT3 Cup
- 71A - D.Koutsoumidis/A.McInnes/S.Middleton/D.O’Young - Equity-One Mortgage Fund - Audi R8 LMS Ultra
- Class A: 36A - B.Schneider/T.Jaeger/A.Roloff - Erebus Motorsport - Mercedes SLS AMG GT3
- Class B: 30B - D.Russell/S.Johnson/J.Reid - Hunter Sports Group - Porsche 997 GT3 Cup (ninth outright)
- Class C: 62C - R.Thomson/L.Talbot/R.Sartori - nurburgring.com.au - Lotus Exige S (19th outright)
- Class D: 24D - P.O’Donnell/A.Heimgartner/A.Gilbertson - GWS Personnel - BMW 335i (29th outright)
- Class E: 3E - I.Breukers/M.Haber/D.Ward - Racer Industries - Holden Astra HSV VXR (18th outright)
- Invitational Class One: 21-I1 - B.Jouanny/D.Wall/A.Jones - Team Peugeot RCZ - Peugeot RCZ Cup (16th outright)
- Invitational Class Two: 55-I2 - M.Niall/C.Harvey/B.Niall - Motorsport Services - Seat Leon Supercopa (20th outright)
- Invitational Class Three: 44-I3 - M.Rose/A.Wallis/A.Tebb - Mal Rose Racing - Holden VY Commodore (12th outright)
AUSTRALIAN GT CHAMPIONSHIP – ROUND ONE RESULTS
- Quinn/Quinn/Van Gisbergen – (VIP Petfoods Porsche Type 997 GT3-R) - 14-laps
- Edwards/Bowe/Simonsen/Salo – (Il Bello Rosso Ferrari 458 Italia GT3
- Manolios/Murphy/Capelli – (Chevrolet Corvette Z06.R GT3)
- Koutsoumidis/McInnes/Middleton/O’Young – (Equity-One Audi R8 LMS)
- McMillan/Richards/Lilley – (GB Galvanizing Lamborghini Gallardo LP600)