ONE of the fastest cars at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in 2016 is back for a return attempt at this year’s event.
Objective Racing’s McLaren 650S GT3 was at the pointy-end of the field through most of practice and qualifying last year – and though an early crash halted their charge early in the race, the team is ready for another strong performance this year.
Team owner / driver Tony Walls will be joined by reigning Sandown 500 winner Warren Luff, Supercars full-timer Tim Slade and highly experienced GT ace Alex Davison in the team’s iconic jet-black McLaren.
“Like last year, we’re well prepared and have a great driver line-up,” Walls explained.
“Barring any mechanical or ‘finger trouble’ or mishaps I think we’re looking strong from a Pro/Am class perspective. And if we don’t fall off the back of the leading train after my stint in the car then I don’t think we’re far off the front of the main game, either.
“Like most years we try to stay under the radar and go about our business.”
Walls, who was last year one of the quickest unseeded drivers during his time behind the wheel, said the experience in their driving squad would hopefully serve the team well.
“Myself and Luffy have done plenty of time in the car. Sladey has plenty of experience and didn’t take any time to get on top of the car last year. Alex is yet to have his first taste but will test next week. He’s got plenty of time in GT cars and will adapt quickly.
“12 hours of running with 60 cars is going to make it a pretty interesting day in the office!”
Slade, who becomes the 8th full-time Virgin Australia Supercars championship runner to join this year’s field, said he was looking forward to a return to the Mountain’s GT classic.
“The main aim this year is to go longer and get some laps in the race this year!” the Queensland-based driver said.
“It’s an event I really enjoy doing. It’s a mega track in a mega car especially with the amount of high-speed grip they have. It makes it pretty enjoyable.
“It’s also good to get some miles in a race car before our season starts. There’s not quite the same level of pressure at the 12-hour as there is starting the year in the Supercar at Clipsal and that makes it even more enjoyable.
“Tony leaves no expense spared which is always a nice feeling, coming into an operation like that. Andy (McElrea) runs a really good operation and from that perspective everything is as good as it could be.
“Tony did a really good job in the practice sessions last year and had some very quick times that made him one on of the quickest ‘Am’ guys out there. That gave us a lot of confidence going into the race.
“Luffy drives the McLaren all the time and there’s no doubting his experience and speed. Alex is a proven guy and though he hasn’t driven the car it won’t take long for him to get up to speed.
“Our aim last year was to win ProAm and this year is no different.”