2014 ALLAN Simonsen Pole Award winner Maro Engel will join Scott Taylor Motorsport’s attack on the 2017 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, the team has confirmed.
Engel will join multiple Carrera Cup champion Craig Baird and reigning Virgin Australia Supercars / Bathurst 12 Hour and Blancpain Endurance champion Shane van Gisbergen in the STM AMG GT3 to complete a formidable driving squad.
Taylor has also confirmed to speedcafe.com that German outfit HTP Motorsport – who will return the race for the first time since 2014 – will run the car alongside their existing entry, and will add the services of ex-TEKNO engineer Dr. Geoff Slater to run the program.
Finally, the squad will receive AMG Factory support at the February 3-5 event to ensure they enter as a clear pre-race favorite.
Engel is an Australian favorite thanks to his time racing GT cars and Supercars in Australia with Erebus Motorsport. His stunning 2m03.8s lap – then the quickest ever qualifier at Bathurst – to score pole for the 2014 event saw emotional scenes as he accepted the inaugural Allan Simonsen Pole award.
He this year won the Nurburgring 24 Hour and last year snared the FIA GT World Cup event at Macau to add to his imposing GT record.
“I’ve been contacted by about six successful international drivers about getting the drive,” Taylor told to Speedcafe.com.
“In the end it was our call and we are stoked to have Maro onboard.”
HTP Motorsport finished a narrow second in the 2014 race, impressing on their first visit to a Mountain with their speed, strategy and tenacity – especially after bouncing back from a hefty crash earlier n the weekend. After a brief stint running Bentley’s, HTP returned to the AMG fold in 2016.
“AMG were keen for us to be aligned with a team which had more endurance experience and that’s why they put forward HTP as their preferred team to run the car,” Taylor said.
The team will test at Phillip Island on January 17 ahead of February’s 12-hour race and have confirmed they will run a brand-new car at the event.