Factory Audi attack arrives at Bathurst
Audi has returned to Mount Panorama ahead of this weekend’s Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour.
The German manufacturer, which last competed in a factory capacity at the 1998 AMP Bathurst 1000, will enter a pair of Audi Race Experience Team Joest R8 LMS GT3, which arrived in Australia late Monday.
The cars were welcomed to The Mountain by Bathurst Councillor Warren Aubin – who was instrumental in attracting the German marquee to the event.
Aubin and Event Director James O’Brien attended the Sepang 12 Hour in 2010 where they met with the Audi hierarchy, leading to the interest in the local event.
“The Audi team are here because of our trip to Sepang,” Cr Aubin told the Western Advocate.
“Our aim over there was to secure entries into our race. The Audi team showed huge interest. We mentioned Mount Panorama and their eyes just grew.
“It’s a big coup. I think the 12 Hour has the potential to become a major player on the international endurance racing circuit.”
The pair of 2010-specification R8s feature different liveries. The #7 car will be driven by the all-Aussie line up of Craig Lowndes, Mark Eddy and Warren Luff and features a green and gold livery that incorporates a map of Australia and the locations of Audi’s extensive domestic dealer network.
The sister car, to be driven by international Sportscar aces Darryl O’Young, Marc Basseng and Christian Meis, features an all-black, carbon fibre livery.
The Audi’s were joined at Bathurst by the arrival of a pair of New Zealand Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Cars from Motorsport Services, and its Production-class BMW 130i.
The 12 Hour kicks off with practice on Friday.