2013 Bathurst 12 Hour champions Erebus Motorsport will return to the race next February, in partnership with Scott Taylor Motorsport and The Bend Motorsport Park.
They’ll field an AMG GT3 for the race with their Bathurst 1000 champions David Reynolds and Luke Youlden joined by Yasser Shahin in a Pro-Am class effort.
Shahin, whose family were behind the build of the Bend Motorsport Park proved consistently the fastest ‘Am’ driver in testing for the event undertaken at Challenge Bathurst recently.
“The team’s preparation for the test was second to none and I am incredibly excited to run in such a professional environment” he said.
Erebus Motorsport CEO Barry Ryan: “The event holds a special place the hearts of our team, it was the stage of our first big victory and somewhere we never finished outside the top five,” Ryan said.
“We always go there with high expectations; we want to push for the PRO/AM victory but with the speed Yasser shows as an amateur driver, also give the outright victory a go.”
Reynolds and Youlden will join Shahin in the Mercedes-AMG entry as they look to join an elite group of people to have won the Bathurst 1000-12 Hour double.
“It’s great to be back at Bathurst with Luke and the team and even though it’s a different race and different car, we share great memories,” Reynolds said.
“Luke drives those cars very well and last year was one of the fastest in the Shootout. I’ve seen Yasser drive and he too drives very well too so I’m looking forward to it.”
Youlden teamed up with Shahin for this year’s 12-Hour, as well as competing in selected rounds of the Australian GT Championship.
“I’m wrapped it’s worked out this way, having a previous relationship with Yasser, David and the team,” Youlden said.
“It gives me a huge amount of confidence and really good motivation to try win; we have all the ingredients, so I don’t think we could go into a 12-Hour more prepared.”
After finishing second in 2012, the team won the 2013 edition with German legend Bernd Schneider joined by Thomas Jaeger and Alex Roloff in a Mercedes-AMG SLS GT3. The team also emotionally won the inaugural Allan Simonsen pole award in 2014.
After a challenging start to their Supercars campaign, Erebus have become regular winners in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, including Reynolds and Youlden winning the 2017 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
KTM Trio Confirmed
M Motorsport has confirmed a three-car KTM attack on the GT4 class at the 2019 Bathurst 12 Hour.
The X-Bow racers each feature a strong driving combination that should be capable of winning the class.
After finishing third in class this year, the Melbourne-based team is hoping to go two steps better at the January 31/February 3 event next year.
The three car team is headlined by the M Motorsport / Equity One entry which features Dean Koutsoumidis, James Winslow and Jake Parsons sharing the driving duties.
Koutsoumidis has become one of the most experienced ‘Am’ drivers in GT3 competition in recent years, while regular co-driver Winslow is a former Australian F3 champion and remains one of the fastest drivers in LeMans Series and LMP3 competition throughout Europe and Asia.
Parsons joins the squad having spent several years in the United States chasing the ‘Road to Indy’ program.
The M Motorsport / Vantage Freight entry includes David Crampton, Trent Harrison, KTM factory racer Caitlin Wood and Gold Star champion, Tim Macrow.
All four were part of the KTM squad last year.
The third KTM entry includes M Motorsport team owner Justin McMillan, Carrera Cup racer Glen Wood, Touring Car Masters race winner Dean Lillie and a yet-to-be-confirmed fourth driver.
McMillan and Koutsoumidis enter the event battle-hardened fresh from a competitive campaign the final four races of the Blancpain GT Asia series this year, where the X-Bow GT4 proved competitive against rivals from Mercedes-AMG and BMW.
“We’re looking forward to running three cars, it’s exciting,” M Motorsport’s Justin McMillan said.
“We’ve had to re-look at the way we’re doing things. We had a look at running four cars, but in the end we chose to concentrate on the three.
“We’re going to have some representation from Reiter Engineering (who build the KTM) there to help us, and Dean’s car is the latest, current-spec car and the one we ran in Blancpain Asia this year.
“I think it’s a great squad.”
After a challenging weekend on the Mountain in February this year, McMillan said the team was ready for a renewed attack in 2019.
“Glen and I, especially, have a lot of experience in the KTM now,” He said.
“I just hope the BoP (Balance of Performance) is on our side and if it is, I think we’ll go OK.
“It hurt us this year but the car was very competitive against the BMW and AMG in Blancpain Asia this year so we know it’s up for it – and it’s very quick across the top of the Mountain.
“It’s a good bunch of guys, good drivers and we’ll see if we can go well.”
Bahrain To Bathurst For BMW
RHC Jorgensen/Strom by Marc Cars Australia have locked in their driving squad, fresh from success in the recent GT4 International Cup in Bahrain.
Daren Jorgensen will be joined by regular co-driver Brett Strom and experienced Aussie ace Gerard McLeod.
The team has also confirmed the purchase of the ex-BMW Team SRM car from Steve Richards, the car currently being shipped to MARC Cars Australia’s Queensland base for preparation and the 12-Hour livery.
McLeod, the brother of MARC Cars boss Ryan and son of 1987 Bathurst champion Peter, brings extensive Bathurst experience to the programme, having started the 2016 and 2017 12-Hour races with the MARC Cars Australia team in particular.
Since finishing the 12-Hour this February, the RHC Jorgensen/Strom team has enjoyed a wildly successful year in several major endurance events, both in Australia and around the world.
As well as winning GT4 in the Australian GT Endurance Event at Phillip Island, the team scored podium finishes in the Circuit of the Americas 24 Hours in November and the Spa 12 Hour a month earlier.
The team capped off their remarkable year by winning the ‘Am’ class and finishing 10th overall in the SRO GT4 International Cup held last weekend in Bahrain.
In a positive test for the upcoming Bathurst 12 Hour, the Bahrain campaign was also supported by the Queensland-based MARC Cars squad.
“We came to Bahrain not expecting to win; we just wanted to race hard and go for it and it turned out really well,” Jorgensen said.
“We have an Australian team that supports us and they did a great job as usual. Going hard in practice isn’t always the best thing to do; the main race is where it counts. Our strategy paid off and we couldn’t be happier.”