Bathurst 12 Hour boosts international V8 hopes
A host of international motorsport stars are hoping strong performances at the Bathurst 12 Hour have put them in the frame for future V8 Supercars enduro co-drives.
More than 40 overseas drivers took part in the Mount Panorama endurance race on Sunday, with the majority making their debut at the famed 6.2 km circuit.
The 2012 British Touring Car Champion Gordon Shedden, who drove the Class C GT4 Motionsport Lotus, admitted that the key reason he committed to the Bathurst 12 Hour was to boost his V8 Supercar enduro hopes.
“I want to do the race (Bathurst 1000) and I’m very aware that to get the opportunity to drive a Supercar the first question anybody asks you is, ‘have you raced Bathurst and do you know where you are going there?’,” Shedden told Speedcafe.com.
“The best way to do as many miles as possible at the place is to do the Bathurst 12 Hour.
“I’m hoping the opportunities might present themselves but quite rightly people want to see your commitment by coming down to race see the place and race the track.
“Hopefully I will meet some people and we will see where this goes from there.
“It does have to fit around my BTCC commitments but you would move heaven and earth if you get the opportunity.”
The BTCC works Honda driver also confirmed that he wishes to make the Bathurst 12 Hour a regular event on his schedule, with the Scotsman eyeing a GT3 drive next year.
Meanwhile, fellow Brit Alex Buncombe, who was part of the Nissan’s works GTR line up at the Bathurst 12 Hour, said he would jump at the chance if a V8 Supercar enduro drive became available.
Nissan Motorsport has previously tested Spaniard Lucas Ordonez and German Michael Krumm in the Altima V8 Supercar following the manufacturers launch of the ‘global driver exchange program’ in 2013.
The squad has touted the possibility of running two internationals in its Pirtek Enduro Cup squad this year.
“Absolutely a V8 Supercar co-drive would sway me,” Buncombe told Speedcafe.com.
“I’ve watched the category over the years and I have always thought V8 Supercars is a bit of me.
“If there was an opportunity for me to be in there I would be there at a drop of a hat. Its a fantastic country to race in and I love the people. It would be great to get a test.
“I haven’t held any talks with Nissan about it but you never know what might happen in the future.”
Factory Corvette racer Oliver Gavin is another driver keen to add the Bathurst 1000 race to his impressive list of credentials following is exploits for Rotek Racing at the once-around-the-clock classic on Sunday.
American driver Patrick Long also competed in the Bathurst 12 Hour, driving the Class B Competition Motorsport Porsche.
The factory Porsche pilot starred in two previous V8 Supercars starts at the Gold Coast 600 and has also made no secret of his desire to race in the 1000.