ARMOR ALL BATHURST 12 HOUR organisers look forward to welcoming Audi back to Bathurst to defend their title, after media reports this week confirmed the German brand would return to the race in 2012.
Confirmation of Audi’s return follow Event Director James O’Brien meeting with senior Audi Motorsport Management at the Spa 24 Hour race (incidentally, a race won by an Audi R8 LMS) in July this year.
In what is set to be a joint operation between the top German-based Phoenix Racing operation – a successful outfit in both GT and DTM (German Touring Car) competition – and local team Melbourne Performance Centre, two new-specification Audi R8 LMS models will travel to Australia for the February 24-26 Event next year.
Audi finished 1-2 in the 2011 race, the car driven by Marc Basseng, Darryl O’Young and Christopher Meis edging out the ‘Aussie Audi’ steered to second by Bathurst 1000 champion Craig Lowndes, Warren Luff and Mark Eddy.
“When I met with Audi in July this year they were very keen to confirm their participation and return to Bathurst to defend their Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour title,” James O’Brien said.
“It needed to clear the Audi board and the various logistical hurdles that go into planning a major international operation like this, but it is great they have gone ‘on record’ with local media and as an Event we are thrilled to have them commit to returning. The team received a warm welcome this year and were embraced by Australian fans and the local community.
“Audi’s return is important in showing other potentially interested brands how much value they can get out of the Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour and we are confident it will lead to increased interest from potential entrants and fans alike.”
Audi’s planned return joins a number of major entrants already committed to the Event in a wide variety of machinery, ensuring that the 2012 Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour will likely feature the most diverse field yet.
Queensland driver Roger Lago sent V8 Supercar driver David Russell to Europe this week to take delivery of a brand new Lamborghini Gallardo LP600 from German team Reiter Engineering, whilst New Zealand-based Motorsport Solutions has already confirmed the entry of two Porsche’s and at least one – if not more – BMW Production car.
The Event’s international partnership with Creventic has resulted in four potential entrants confirming their intentions to race, including UK-based Birchwood Racing (Aston Martin N24) and VDS Racing Adventures (Ford Mustang GT3). Parkes (NSW)-based GWS Motorsport will enter three production cars, with more entrants across all divisions to be revealed in coming weeks.
The 2012 Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour will be contested on February 24-26, 2012 and will feature an action-packed program including four strong support categories; Sports Sedans, Saloon Cars, Formula Ford and Improved Production.