Hallmarc Audi confirmed to return to B12hr

A FAMILIAR combination will return to the drivers seat of the Hallmarc Audi R8 LMS in the 2018 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour. 

Owner / driver Marc Cini will again be joined by Supercars championship ace Lee Holdsworth and long-time co-driving partner, Dean Fiore, in the No. 9 entry run by Audi Customer Sport Racing Australia.

The trio finished 9th outright in the 2017 race and third of those running in the BRM Chronographes Pro/Am category.

“That’ll be fun,” Holdsworth told Supercars.com. “I really enjoyed it this year and I’m looking forward to getting back.

“It’s a great way to start the year, it’s always fun with Fiore and Cini and especially in a good car.

“It makes it more enjoyable, you don’t want to be looking in the mirrors the whole race around there, so having something that handles well and is nearly as quick as anything else is good fun.

“Hopefully we can come home with another podium, hopefully we take this one out in our class.”

Holdsworth, who currently races for Preston Hire Racing in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, finished sixth outright in the 2013 12-hour, pairing with Tim Slade and Peter Hackett in an Erebus Motorsport SLS AMG GT3.

The trio were contenders for much of the race however lost time late in the day and ultimately fell several laps off the pace, with that race ultimately won by their sister car driven by Alex Roloff, Bernd Schneider and Thomas Jaeger.

As well as being the most experienced driver in Porsche Carrera Cup Australia history, Cini has forged a strong record in the 12-Hour.

The Melbournian has started six of the seven races contested in the GT era.

He teamed with David Reynolds and Dean Fiore in a Porsche GT3 Cup S in 2011 and despite qualifying strongly, the car failed to finish.

He returned with long-time friend Mark Eddy, Dean Grant and 12-hour winner Christoper Mies in 2013 and finished fifth – still his best result.

Eddy and Mies returned for the following two years, scoring 10th on both occasions. Mies and fellow factory Audi pilot Christer Jons drove with Cini in 2016, though recorded a DNF.

With Holdsworth and Fiore on board this year the trio flew under the radar for much of the day en route to their strong top-10 finish, three laps behind the eventual winner but two in front of the next-best finisher.

2017 marked Fiore’s third start in the 12-hour, the West Australian having recorded a 14th-placed finish in 2014, also driving an Audi R8.