DAVID REYNOLDS, the reigning Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 winner, will join John Martin, Liam Talbot and car owner Mark Griffith in a Mercedes-AMG GT3 at this year’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
The Bathurst champion will join Griffith’s Daimler Trucks / Hogs Breath / Griffith Corp Mercedes-AMG GT3 entry that will compete for the BRM Chronographes Pro-Am class trophy at the February 2-4 event.
The news was confirmed this morning on the Seven Network’s Sunrise program, hosted by Mark Beretta.
Griffith has enjoyed several years competing in the Australian GT Championship and Trophy Series and has multiple Bathurst 12 Hour starts to his credit – including a runner-up finish in the Invitational Class in 2016 when driving for MARC Cars Australia.
He and Reynolds shared the same AMG GT3 with Kiwi driver Dominic Storey last year, running strongly before contact saw the car suffer a damaged radiator and a lengthy stop in the pit lane to fix the damage – ruling them out of any chance of a strong result.
Talbot and Martin combined to finish fourth in the 12-hour last year – and first in the ‘Am’ division – driving a Porsche, before pairing up to finish third in the Australian Endurance Championship last year in the same car.
Martin has a successful career in international open-wheel racing before turning to sports cars and GT competition, including an LMP2 class podium in the World Endurance Championship.
Talbot has built a lengthy CV in top-level GT racing including a class victory in the Spa 24 Hour, and second in the 2017 Australian GT Championship.
Supercars ace’ Reynolds is no stranger to GT racing, either: The 2007 Porsche Carrera Cup Australia Champion made his 12-hour debut in 2012 – also driving a Porsche. He returned to the race in 2016 driving an Erebus Motorsport Mercedes-AMG, finishing a strong fifth outright driving with factory AMG drivers Nico Bastian and Thomas Jaeger.
He then raced with Griffith and Dom Storey in an AMG GT3 last year.
“We had a great car with Dave last year, unfortunately we had a few little incidents which caused us to eventually retire,” Griffith said.
“This year if we can have the same kind of performance and I can stay on the same lap as the leaders then the other guys can fight to the end.
“We’re going there to do well in the Pro/Am class and in the end, that’s all we can ask. We’re not going there trying to be exciting but Bathurst is Bathurst and who knows what can happen.”
Griffith said he was looking forward to returning to what is essentially his ‘home’ circuit following a busy 2017 season on the Mountain.
“Bathurst is fantastic. For someone my age to go and drive a car like this there in anger is just sensational.
“It became something of a home track for us last year because we did all the events; The 12-Hour, 6-Hour Production Cars, Aussie Racing Cars.. I just love the place.
“We are there for fun by I appreciate that Dave, John and Liam for giving their time to be there so we are taking it seriously. The car is having every upgrade and new parts fitted to it so we’ll go there fresh and ready to go.”
Reynolds said the 12-hour was an enjoyable experience.
“It’s probably one of the best races you go to for the year as a driver. It’s very relaxed, the cars are quite cool to drive – even though they’re nothing like what we normally drive in Supercars – it’s a lot of fun.
“And we’ve got a good chance to win our class and hopefully even challenge for outright, it’s going to be hard because we’re Pro-Am, but it’s still possible.
“All of the long-distance races you do during the year, they’re always a lot more fun. They’re super intense, but they’re also kind of relaxed at the same time. It doesn’t have the whole pressure of Supercars and what not. It’s cool.
“It’s always a good feeling when you know you’ve won at a track before. It is the best racetrack in Australia; any chance you get to drive it, it doesn’t matter if you’re in a taxi or an Uber, you love it.”