MARC Cars Australia will field multiple cars in the 2018 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, as the team builds towards the introduction of their Generation 2 racer at the February 2-4 Event.
Team owner Ryan McLeod has confirmed the ‘factory’ team will run six cars, with an additional independently-entered car also included on the current list.
The Aussie designed, engineered and constructed endurance specials made their international racing debut at the event in 2014 and have since gone on to win their class every year – while at the same time notching up significant international success.
The constant evolution of the V8-powered racers will see the second-generation iteration of the concept debut on the Mountain next February, with as many as three of the newer car to take the grid alongside the existing racers.
The original MARC racer has become a Bathurst success story as well as a nod to the strength of the domestic motorsport industry, with each car featuring a majority of components and technology sourced within 100km of the team’s Gold Coast base.
“These cars wouldn’t exist without the Bathurst 12 Hour so it’s appropriate that the new model makes its debut there too,” MARC Cars Australia’s Ryan McLeod explained.
“It’s been developed in collaboration with the 12-Hour organisers but also with the people we race with overseas.”
The Generation 2 MARC car will feature a different body shape, as well as a more powerful 5.2-litre Ford Coyote V8 and a lower minimum weight compared to the existing cars.
While Invitational class regulations limit the existing MARC Cars to a 2m10-second ‘benchmark’ lap time, the newer cars will be allowed to lap four seconds faster.
“We continually wanted to develop the existing cars and make them go faster, but everything we wanted to improve we decided to put into a new car rather than chopping and changing the existing car.
“The concept of the original cars is that we freeze the spec – so the first car we built (named AMAROO) can race equally with the most recent car (MONZA).
“The new car will run to a 2m06 benchmark and it should be able to do that all day, so we are very confident they will perform very well.
“We take delivery of the first chassis in a few weeks and a second is already under construction. We’re working towards having three new cars running in February alongside three of the existing ones.”
The 2018 MARC Cars Australia 12-Hour team will likely be comprised of much of the team’s regular competitor base, with familiar names like Rob Thomson, Geoff Taunton, John Goodacre, Tony Alford, Jake Camilleri and Keith Kassulke all locked in to be part of the event.
“There’s strong interest and we’re in the final stages of planning the final few cars,” McLeod said.
“We’re hopeful to have Morgan Haber as part of the team, and experienced Queensland racer Lindsay Kearns.”
“In line with our heritage of signing some of the countries best up and coming young talent, we also have Aaron Cameron, Tyler Everingham, and Kyle Alford as part of our line up.”
The team has had a busy 2017 season, that began with a sweep of the class podium at the Bathurst 12 Hour.
The team ran three cars at the annual Challenge Bathurst event at Mount Panorama last week – using the rare opportunity for Bathurst laps to test new components for the generation II racer.
That came just one week after the team completed a 1-2-3 sweep of the podium at the 24-hour enduro held at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas.
The team has also contested the Australian GT Trophy Series this year.
The MARC Cars Australia fleet will contest the Invitational Class alongside the pair of Daytona Sportscars entries in the 2018 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, to be held between February 2-4.