Factory Lambo pilot primed for Bathurst 12H
International Lamborghini racer Peter Kox says he’s looking forward to next year’s Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour after sampling Mount Panorama for the first time at the weekend.
The 47-year-old Dutchman will join car owner Ted Huglin, part-time V8 Supercars driver Cameron McConville and former Super Touring racer Luke Searle in a Lamborghini LP560 for next February’s 12 Hour.
All four drivers were at Bathurst over the weekend, using the Sprint Bathurst lap-sprint event to prepare for the once-around-the-clock race.
Kox, who races Lamborghinis in a variety of GT championships, including the FIA GT1 World Championship and Blancpain Endurance Series, lapped The Mountain in a best time of 2:06.71s during the final day of the three-day event, and said he enjoyed the experience.
“It’s a well known race track around the world and one you must do as a driver,” Kox told Speedcafe.com of Bathurst.
“There was a chance a few years ago that I could have driven there with Aston Martin and Prodrive, but it did not happen so I am delighted to get it done.
“Last weekend was a practice run and it went well. I didn’t have a lot of running due to the type of event it is, and it’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing. I’m getting up to the pace and have enjoyed it.”
Kox has been placed with Huglin’s team by Reiter Engineering, which looks after Lamborghini’s GT racing programs worldwide.
“The team is good. It’s a small team but we have gelled really well and have had no issues,” said Kox.
“I worked on setup as much as I could with my limited knowledge of the circuit and the car is good. I think we should have a shot at winning the race next year.
“We had a similar arrangement where I came in and helped a team at the Malaysia 12 Hour race and we had great success there so we hope to be able to do something similar – it would be very nice to win at Bathurst.”
McConville tasted the Lamborghini for the first time on Friday before flying to the Symmons Plains V8 Supercars meeting.
The Victorian, who will complete full-time programs in the Australian V8 Ute and New Zealand V8SuperTourer classes next year, was highly enthusiastic about driving the Italian car.
“It’s by far the best car I’ve ever driven at Bathurst,” McConville told Speedcafe.com.
“It’s just got so much grip across the top, it’s a real buzz. It was probably the most enjoyable day I’ve had in a race car in years.
“I can’t wait to get back there for the 12 Hour. To be able to drive that car for one day was a buzz, so attacking a 12 Hour race with it is something I’m really looking forward to.
“It’s probably whet the appetite a bit – I’d love to do Sepang, Dubai and some of the other international enduros because it’s probably the most rewarding car I’ve ever driven.”
The Huglin/Kox/McConville/Searle entry will likely be one of several chasing down Maranello Motorsport’s Ferrari 458, which set the fastest time of the Sprint Bathurst weekend with Allan Simonsen at the wheel.
A 2:04.96s lap saw the Dane over 4.0s faster than this year’s fastest qualifying time for the 12 Hour – set by Steve Owen in a Porsche GT3 Cup S.
“Our car is damn fast,” said Simonsen, who will be joined by John Bowe, Dominik Farnbacher and car owner Peter Edwards for the race.
“From the first laps at Bathurst the car was very quick, given it has a great set-up baseline from running in Europe this year so we knew we’d be able to work from where they’d left off.
“These new generation cars are all going to have a fast pace, and there’s no doubt the 12 Hour is going to be very fast and incredibly competitive – it’s an event I’m definitely looking forward to on the calendar.”
The 2012 Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour will take place on February 26th.