Erebus Motorsport’s bid to claim a second consecutive Bathurst 12 Hour victory will be led by the team’s new V8 Supercar recruit Will Davison and returning Mercedes legend Bernd Schneider.
The event will mark Davison’s debut in the 12 Hour and his first race for Erebus, which he joins for this year’s V8 Supercars campaign following three years at Ford Performance Racing.
Davison will drive the team’s #63 SLS while Schneider, who won the 12 Hour with the Betty Klimenko-owned squad last year, will front the #1 entry.
The team’s remaining drivers are yet to be revealed ahead of the February 7-9 event.
Confirmation of Schneider’s return is another boost for the race, which will host a number of the world’s biggest GT stars.
“I’m pleased to be invited to come back to Australia again and contest the 12 Hour race with Erebus Motorsport GT and AMG Customer Sports,” said Schneider.
“It is one of the world’s most iconic circuits, a circuit that really rewards the driver.
“We achieved something really special in 2013, especially as it was the first time for Erebus Motorsport and the first win for AMG Customer Sports at Bathurst.
“We hope to be able to repeat the performance, although the entry list includes some more very successful international teams this year.
“It will be no easy task, but it’s clear from their ongoing successes last year that the Erebus team are up to the challenge.”
Last year’s event saw Erebus’ V8 Supercars drivers Lee Holdsworth and Tim Slade out-pace their international team-mates, including Schneider, for much of the weekend.
“They were both seriously fast in the SLS,” said Davison of Holdsworth and Slade.
“It’s a markedly different beast to the Erebus Motorsport V8 Supercar, but the key to being quick at Bathurst is experience, and fortunately I’ve done a few laps around there (Bathurst).
“Honestly, I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the GT3-spec car.
“Like anything, it will present a different set of challenges (to V8 Supercars), but based on the pace of the car last year, and the success the Erebus team enjoyed during both the Australian GT Championship and GT Asia last year, there’s no reason why we can’t be challenging for back-to-back victories this year.”
The Bathurst 12 Hour will see Davison work with Erebus engineer Luke Mason for the first time prior to their new partnership in V8 Supercars.
Mason has been assigned to the lead race engineer role with Davison having last year worked as a data engineer on the team’s Tim Slade-driven entry.
Although the competition will be significantly higher this year, Erebus team manager Barry Ryan is confident that his team will be strong contenders to defend their crown.
“The team have been working feverishly since Macau last November to return the cars to their original condition,” he said.
“There has been little change to the performance parity with respect to the GT3 specification under which we run at Bathurst, and if the Dubai 24 Hour last weekend was any indication, the SLS is still the benchmark.
“We know that 12 hours around Bathurst against such strong competition will be no easy task, but we have the best car, the best drivers and this team has a full 12-months of experience with the cars under their belts, so there really is no reason why we won’t be in the mix come the eleventh hour.”