THE Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour is already renowned as a family-friendly affair – but Grove Racing could be taking that to a new level in 2018.
The two-time 12-hour class winning outfit from Melbourne has floated plans to run a father and son combination in the next installment of the race, with Stephen Grove set to be joined by son Brenton and a yet-to-be named star this driver in a Porsche GT3 Cup Car.
20-year-old Brenton Grove currently sits second in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Australia series, while his father leads the Challenge division of the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Championship as he searches for a second title in the one-make category.
The younger Grove is in just his third year of racing however has made significant progress this season, with a move to the Carrera Cup main game likely next year.
However the outfit first plans to return to the top of the Podium at the Mountain after an early DNF ruled them out of contention this year – with Brenton as part of their anticipated 2018 challenge.
“There are plans for us to do the Bathurst 12 Hour next year and Stephen and I will perhaps share a car, so that will be cool,” the younger Grove told Paddock Pass media in a recent interview.
“We will be using the current-era 991 that’s in Carrera Cup and hopefully we will get a big name Pro driver to come do the round with us. We haven’t quite worked out who yet, but if you look at the history of drivers that have driven with us, we are always sure we have world-class professionals and next year will be no different.”
Grove Racing has an enviable record at Mount Panorama since making their Bathurst 12 Hour debut in 2013.
After finishing second in Class B that year, the team won the class by two laps in 2014 with Grove sharing the driving duties with Brit Ben Barker and would-be LeMans winner, Earl Bamber.
Luke Youlden joined Grove and Barker in 2015 to finish second in Class, while Bamber’s return and the addition of Supercars star Scott McLaughlin saw the Grove Porsche return to the top step of the podium in 2016 with a commanding 15-lap victory – and 12th outright amongst a field of more than 30 outright GT3 cars.
2017 marked the team’s first non-finish in the event after Barker found the wall at the top of the Mountain after completing 32 laps.