BMW Team SRM has today confirmed driver and sponsorship details for its BMW M4 GT4 entry in this year’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour at Mount Panorama.
The brand new car will carry the striking colours of BMW Team SRM partner BP Ultimate for its racing debut with a blend of youth and experience signed to drive the car in its debut race on Australian soil.
Emerging young gun Cameron Hill will pair with the highly experienced Dean Grant and Xavier West to drive the three-litre, 400-plus horsepower, six-cylinder twin-turbo M4 GT4.
BMW Team SRM team owner Steve Richards says the team has the right mix to be contenders in the GT4 category of the ever-growing Bathurst 12 Hour.
“We’ve put together a program with BP Ultimate and three very well-credentialed drivers that will be very competitive at Bathurst,” he says.
“We’ve been so impressed with the M4 GT4 since it landed in Australia late last year and we’ve had it on the track at Winton and Phillip Island.
“It’s so user-friendly. The GT4 category is all about entry-level access to GT racing and it’s growing at a great rate.”
Adam Arnold, BP’s General Manager – Marketing & Offer Development, says he’s looking forward to seeing the BP Ultimate BMW M4 GT4 on the most famous track in Australia.
“BP has tremendous history in Australian motorsport that includes outright victories in the 12 Hour in the 1990s, so Bathurst is the perfect place for the M4 GT4 to make its racing debut in this country in the colours of BP Ultimate,” he says.
“We’ve enjoyed a great partnership with Steve Richards and his BMW Team SRM squad and this takes things a step further with representation at Bathurst in both the outright GT3 category and the GT4 class.
“Today’s announcement is the first of a few exciting announcements for us in relation to this year’s Bathurst 12 Hour with more to follow in due course.”
21-year-old Hill is an emerging young talent from Canberra making his Bathurst 12 Hour debut.
He won the 2015 Australian Formula Ford national series and has won a total of 13 races over the last two years in the highly competitive Toyota 86 Racing Series.
“I drove in the Bathurst 6 Hour production car race last year but the 12 Hour is most definitely the highest profile event I’ll have done,” says Hill.
“I’m over the moon to have the opportunity with Steve and BMW Team SRM to get up to Bathurst and team up with Dean and Xavier and hopefully bring home a solid result.
“I had a quick run in the car at Phillip Island recently and by the end of the day felt very comfortable; it’s such a nice car to drive.”
Hospitality industry expert Grant is a veteran of Australian GT and Porsche Carrera Cup competition, in which he was a two-time winner of the TAG Heuer Challenge Championship.
He is also no stranger to competing in the Bathurst 12 Hour in a BMW having finished seventh overall and second in class in a BMW 130i in 2007.
This year will be his eighth start in the 12 Hour – he finished fifth overall in 2013 and last year won Class B in a Porsche GT3 Cup Car, finishing 15th overall.
“The M4 GT4 is a beautiful little car and, being a BMW, it will run all day. I’d love to go back-to-back and score two class wins in successive years in the 12 Hour.
“The Bathurst 12 Hour is a race that never goes as you expect it to, so you have to be prepared for the unexpected. I’m thrilled to be part of the driving team in the car, and it has air conditioning too, so it’s always nice to have some creature comforts!”
West is also no stranger to competing in the 12 Hour; last year he was a member, along with Grant, of the winning Class B Porsche team and in 2015 he finished fifth in Class B and 20th overall.
“For me, as an amateur driver, it’s a real privilege to be part of the start of the chapter of the BMW M4 GT4 racing program in Australia,” he says.
“I’ve had two tests in the car, one a shakedown at Winton and another that was more of a proper test at Phillip Island and I’ve got to know the car a lot more across those days.
“The twin turbo engine should produce torque in the rights places for us at Bathurst and, just as exciting is the fact there will be some other M4 GT4s racing in our class and a field of over a dozen cars, so the category will be keenly-contested.”
BMW Team SRM will run two cars in the 12 Hour – the BP Ultimate BMW M4 GT4 and the BP Ultimate-backed Laser Plumbing & Electrical BMW M6 GT3 in the outright class that team owner/driver Richards will share with factory BMW drivers Timo Glock and Philipp Eng.
The Bathurst 12 Hour will be held on February 2-4 at the world famous Mount Panorama circuit. It will be televised live, and in full, on 7mate.
Tickets remain available for the event, with race day General Admission tickets priced from just $46, including free access to the paddock area.