Australia: Bathurst 12hrs Preview
The 2013 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour takes place this weekend, and is shaping up as one of the fiercest contested endurance races at Mount Panorama to date. This year marks the first time that Australian GT Championship and Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour organisers have worked together for the betterment of the GT category in Australia as a whole – and it should be the best of both worlds for everyone.
Another first for the 12hrs, is the appearance of a Corvette GT3. The ex-Championship winning car from Europe is entered by Australian GT3 team Trofeo Motorsport. The teams driver lineup is bolstered with the pairing of former Ferrari F1 driver Ivan Capelli with Holden Motorsport driver Greg Murphy and regular driver Jim Manolios.
“Ivan is a friend of the team and drove our Maserati GT cars here in 2008,” explains Trofeo Manager Rod Wilson. "He is a great character and a fantastic guy and we are really looking forward to working with him again. We think we have a good team for this race and we are putting in a lot of effort to make it work. “We are not just going to turn up – the car will be completely rebuilt before the race and will have a new engine and gearbox and all the key components will be fresh. It should be a good car for the 12 hour as it’s perfectly suited to that kind of racing. We are going there with a solid effort and should have a pretty good crack at it.”
The inclusion of Greg Murphy to the team, brings a vast amount of experience of the famous mountain track:
“Apart from his four Bathurst wins, Greg is also one of the best drivers in the world around Mount Panorama, and that ‘lap of the gods’ he turned for pole position in 2003 [2:06.8594] stood for seven years, and has been broken only once by a another V8 Supercar. His reputation on the mountain is second to none, and he always seemed to ‘come alive’ at Bathurst. His alignment with General Motors also paved the way, but what I didn’t expect from a guy with such experience, was his delight in getting the call.”
“I’m honestly excited,” the V8 Supercar veteran admitted. “Obviously, I love Bathurst, but it’s been some years since I drove a GT car, any GT car – in fact it was probably the Monaro at Bathurst during the 2003 24-Hour race [Murphy won alongside Peter Brock, Jason Bright and Todd Kelly], which really doesn’t feel like nine years ago – but aside from that, I’m also a huge Corvette fan, and have been since I was a kid so this is a dream come true."
"The car is pretty well balanced, it has a low centre-of-gravity - so it sits well - it has a lot of torque and a lot of horsepower, and that will be great to get it up and down the mountain. The SuperTourer I’ve been racing in New Zealand has the same LS7 powerplant, so I know how good the engine is, and the car has an outstanding pedigree, so I’m really looking forward to getting out there. At the end of the day I like to drive new cars, and for me, this one ticks all the boxes. That said, I’m under no illusions about how hard the 12-Hour will be, having completed the event twice over in 2003, but I don’t expect it will be too different from the 1000, you just have to keep out of trouble until the final stint and within sight of the leaders, and be ready to attack.
You can follow all the action for this years Bathurst 12hrs on our live coverage page found here: