A TEAM with perhaps more Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour experience than any other will take a step up in 2018.
On Track Motorsport will enter a Porsche GT3 Cup Car in Class B of the February 2-4 event next year, having progressed through the ranks from the earliest days of the event’s genesis as a production car event.
“We’re the only team that has been to every 12 Hour, from Production Cars and now into the GT3 car,” said team owner and driver, Garry Menell.
“We’d be one of the few teams, if not the only one, to be at the event every year since it’s reinvention in 2007. We started with the BMWs, we ran a Falcon for a year and a couple of other cars, but predominantly the BMWs. Now we’ll be there with the Porsche next year.”
The team’s transition to a Porsche Cup Car means their venerable BMW 335i – a two-time race winner in 2007 and 2010 when owned by Garry Holt – will be retired from the race.
The car competed every year since 2007 with a remarkable run of outright and class success over its history.
“For the last few years we’ve worked on the 335 to make it into more of a GT car and it worked – but it just wasn’t fast enough,” he explained.
“The 335 has been a great car and has been for a long, long time with a lot of history, but it’s in the wrong class. It’s a Production Car and we’re trying to make it do GT3 pace.
“The opportunity came along to buy the Safe-T-Stop car from Richard Gartner so we thought ‘lets just do it’. We wanted to do the 12-Hour and this was the best car to do it in.
“It’s been good to get in it and give it a shakedown at Challenge Bathurst and see what it’s like.”
Menell said the team was in the final stages of locking down their driving squad.
“We’ll have Aaron Zerefos back and he’s driven the car for the last two years with Richard (Gartner) – he couldn’t wait to get back in it.
“Myself and Kean Booker will be there and it looks like Steve van Billigen will be back from Belgium – he was with us in the BMW.
“We just want to finish. If we finish and bring it back in one piece it’ll be a good thing.”