Kassulke targets Mountain hat-trick in MARC II return

KEITH KASSULKE will target a hat-trick of Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour class victories when he returns to the race next February. 

The 2017 and 2018 Invitational Class Champion has entered his MARC II entry and has also locked Paul Morris and Boris Said to share the driving duties in a bid to win three in a row.

Morris is the only driver to win the three Bathurst ‘majors’ – the Bathurst 1000, 12-Hour and 6-Hour – while Said’s record includes victories in NASCAR, GT / Sports Car racing and Trans Am competition in his native United States.

Kassulke’s own record is strong having paired with Will Brown and Rod Salmon to win the Invitational class for the last two years.

He has also tasted success in Touring Car Masters and Australian GT racing, as well as lengthy campaigns in long-distance races around the world with the Queensland-based MARC Cars squad.

“I was chatting to Paul some time ago, when we were at Easter Bathurst, and mentioned that it would be great if we could team up for a race some time in the future,” Kassulke said.

“The 12-Hour was mentioned and he said ‘I’d love to’. He then came back to me and said ‘I’ve got a guy who wants to do the race and would be good for it’.. It’s pretty exciting to be racing with these guys. I’ve always wanted to race with Paul and to have a guy like Boris along is going to be fantastic.”

Kassulke said he was pleased to return to Bathurst for a shot at a third Bathurst crown.

“We’ll be going for three in a row in the MARC Mustang,” he said.

“We have a good strong driver line up in my car and I’m looking forward to meeting Boris. I just haven;t done much this year at all so to commit now to doing the 12-Hour is a big thing.”

Morris said he was equally looking forward to teaming up with Kassulke.

“He’s done a lot of racing and to come back from that accident and get competitive again is an amazing story – it’s inspirational to see,” Morris said.

“I think that’s what kept him going. For both me and Boris to go and support him is a bit of an honor.

“When I started talking to Keith about doing the race he wanted to put sensible guys in his car and have a good shot at keeping the crown, and I couldn’t think of anyone better than Boris.

“I rang him and asked if he wanted to come back to the Mountain and he said ‘Hell yeah!'”.

Said has remained sharp with regular racing in the United States this year.

“He’s been racing some old-school Trans Am cars this year which are actually pretty similar (to the MARC Car),” Morris explained.

“The MARC Car has a bit more aero and less horsepower but it’s quite similar. Boris is pretty handy in GT cars and everything he drives.

“When I raced Daytona with him he was fantastic.. his night stints were unbelievable so he may be the guy to start the race!”

The MARC Cars Australia entry was one of four of the Australian designed and built entries confirmed to race in the Invitational class at the 2019 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour next February.