ONE OF the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour’s most popular privateer outfits has flagged an expansion to two cars for the 2018 race.
Melbourne-based Daytona Sportscars have become an institution at the event since their 2013 debut, first running their iconic Chevrolet-powered Daytona Coupe before upgrading to a Dodge Viper Competition Coupe this year.
The team has confirmed plans to run both cars next year in their biggest attack yet on winning the Invitational Class, not to mention a potential record for the ‘most engine capacity entered by a two car team at Bathurst’.
“Daytona sportscars is moving up to a two car team for the 2018 Bathurst 12 hour with the 7 litre Daytona Coupe as well as the 8.4 litre Dodge viper GT3 car,” said Jamie Augustine, who has been a key component in the team’s plans since their Bathurst debut.
The team has commenced a search for suitable drivers with a document detailing their plans now available on the official event website’s Driver and ride board.
“Both cars are already being prepared for this event with fresh running gear and the appropriate updates for the 12 hour. Both of these cars are capable of lapping in the sub 2:10 times with the right driver, and either car is a contender for a class win and a top 15 outright if all goes well.
“The Team is an experienced endurance racing team with members from Formula 1, V8 Supercars, and the professional motorsport industry. We are looking for one or 2 additional drivers who fit in within our team and who are focused on our goal of completing the race, and winning the class above their own individual goals.”
The team made their debut in 2013 and reached the finish for the first time two years later, Jamie Augustine, Ray Hislop and Ben Schoots classified finishers in 33rd outright. The team then finished sixth in class this year, Augustine, Schoots and Dean Lillie having traded the Daytona for a Dodge Viper GT3 car though running in the invitational class.
The outfit has won a legion of fans throughout the years for their unique approach to the race and desire to run a different car to the norm.
The straight line speed of their entries – the Daytona in particular – also generated enormous discussion with the Coupe’ at one point clocked at 307km/hr during the 2016 event, pulling out and passing GT3 machinery down Conrod straight in the process.
The Invitational Class – for production-based or purpose-built endurance specials – is set to be hotly contested with a legion of MARC Cars Australia entries expected to be confirmed starters alongside the potential Daytona duo.
In a close finish, Will Brown, Keith Kassulke and Rod Salon edged out MARC Cars teammates Mick Benton, Hardian Morall, Aaron Seton and Glenn Seton to take the class victory this year.