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Bathurst 12 Hour: Friday Paddock Notes

Lots of cars in need of attention after the first day of track action

Lots of work for Ginetta

Ginetta Cars Australia’s mechanics have had to put in a heroic effort today following Ben Walsh’s off in the #88 G55 GT4.

The car, which sustained significant damage to the right-side after its off into a wall at the top of the circuit in Free Practice 2, has left the team scrambling for parts. However, the team has prevailed, and with the G55 GT4 being such a serviceable car, looks to be back in action tomorrow.

“We’re checking what we need, and sending a chopper to another state in Australia to collect parts, and ensure that we can get them in time” factory driver Mike Simpson said. “It will be fine to go out tomorrow now we’ve sourced the parts.”

Engine change for Lago

Also in the wars, but putting in a valiant team effort, is the Lago Racing crew. Remarkably, the team changed the engine on its Gallardo GT3 in the short time between Free Practice 2 and 3 today, after it suffered a failure. The car then went out in Free Practice 4 just after lunch and topped Class A Am with a rapid 2:04.508.

DSC understands that the engine which expired was just 1000km old.

International Motorsport Audi in need of attention

The #82 International Motorsport Audi R8 came back to the paddock with a severely damaged front-end after Free Practice 4. Audi explained to DSC that the car was crashed at the top of the mountain by Andrew Bagnall, who thankfully is ok after the incident.

The chassis was damaged by the impact, but Audi is confident that the car should be out for tomorrow’s sessions after the front-end is replaced.

Baigent BMW withdrawn

While the above cars should be about for tomorrow’s action after their respective repair jobs, the Baigent Racing Team hasn’t had the same luck, its M4 GT4 the first withdrawal of the event.

The race organisers released the following statement:

“The car went off at high speed into the gravel at the Chase in FP4 with team owner Kent Baigent at the wheel. Following an incident during Practice this afternoon, Kent Baigent has been taken to hospital in Bathurst for precautionary scans on his back.

“His BMW M4 has been withdrawn from the event after suffering damage beyond immediate repair.”

Porsche Carerra Cup Asia Livery

The Porsche Carerra Cup Asia Class B effort is running a commemorative livery, celebrating 15 years of the Carerra Cup Asia series.

The team’s car is one of the favourites in the Class B field, with 2017 Asia series champion Chris van der Drift racing with top Porsche China junior drivers Paul Tresidder and Andrew Tang and the series’ Pro-Am winner Chen Yi-Fan.

Gounon confident ahead of Bentley debut

Bentley’s newest factory driver Jules Gounon is confident ahead of his first race with the British marque this weekend, driving in the #7 Continental GT4. The Frenchman, who won the 2017 ADAC GT Masters title, says his experience racing in a variety of GT3 cars has helped him get up to speed in the car.

“Prior to coming here, I went out testing a couple of times in the Continental to get acclimatised. But because I’ve driven so many GT3 cars, like the Corvette, Mercedes, Acura and Porsche in recent years, it’s been relatively easy for me.

“The car is very easy to drive, the biggest problem is driving on the right hand side of the car round here, because I’m not used to that. And judging the walls going at those speeds here, is really hard when you’re experiencing such a change in the cockpit.

“But we’re a good team, I’m honoured to represent this brand and race along so many experienced drivers. We’ve got a real chance here, as the car really suits the circuit, and always runs well here because it’s so strong through medium and fast corners.”

How to follow

You can follow the action tomorrow with live streaming, and with the radio commentary feed from Radio Le Mans. Over the weekend RLM will stream final practice session and qualifying on its RS1 station; in the booth will be Bathurst 12 Hour regulars John Hindhaugh and Richard Craill, as well as Jonny Palmer. Live timing is also available.

Sunday’s race is set to start at 5:45am local time in New South Wales.