After an all-night rebuild to repair damage sustained during a Friday practice session, the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour debutantes are ready to continue their class domination.
In this morning’s first qualifying session factory driver Mike Simpson clocked a 2m:17.925s lap, just 0.212 of a second behind the #48 M Motorsport KTM X-Bow GT4 piloted by Glenn Wood. Today’s quick practice and qualifying times are reassuring for the team, and a nod to the strength and reliability of the car.
Commercial Director Nick Portlock has every confidence that the pair of Ginetta G55s can bring home a win.
“We like where we are now rather than in the wall with bits of car hanging off. The idea is that this is the first time Ginetta has been here as a factory team, the G55 hasn’t raced here before so we’re keen to showcase the car in the Southern Hemisphere. At the moment, it’s doing great.” said Portlock.
Coming off the back of recent wins at the 2016 Sepang 12 Hour and class victory at the Dubai 24hr in January of this year, RA Motorsport are looking to add Bathurst to Ginetta’s list of achievements.
Despite the cars being homologated for European circuits with much shorter straights, lead driver Mike Simpson is confident that the team can head home with a win.
“We have to win, I’m only here to win, Ginetta want to win,” said Simpson.
“We are by far the slowest car down the straight, but we have a wonderfully handling car. I’m pretty much flat from Turn Five all the way before we drop down and I don’t think any other car will be.
“We’re very light, we’re not based on a heavy road car so the cars are quick and easy to repair and we’re kind on tyres and kind on brakes.”
Ginetta has a long history of producing purpose-built race cars and helping aspiring and professional drivers alike follow their passion for racing. Since 2005, Ginetta have taken the global racing scene by storm and have partnered with RA Motorsport to showcase what Ginetta has to offer the local market.
“GT4 is the up and coming class globally and we’ve got a great car that we know works in the European and British market. The whole idea is race the car on Sunday and sell the car on Monday.” said Portlock.
Despite battling a cold, Mike Simpson was behind the wheel of the #55 for today’s qualifying session securing second in class (Avis Class C) and 47th outright. The #69 car, driven by Australian Jake Parsons, will line up sixth in class (Avis Class C) and 52nd outright.
Ginetta and the rest of the Avis Class C field will be back on track for the kick off of the 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour tomorrow morning at 5.45am. Don’t miss a moment of the action; you can follow along across the weekend, including live streaming and free to air coverage, please go to http://www.bathurst12hour.com.au/news/how-to-watch-the-b12hr/
Tickets remain on sale via ticketek and are also available at the gate this weekend.