Long leads outright Porsche Bathurst entry

The Long/Pither/Calvert-Jones Porsche

The Long/Pither/Calvert-Jones Porsche

Porsche factory driver Patrick Long will return to the Bathurst 12 Hour next February, spearheading a Class A GT3R entry from Competition Motorsports.

The American team has contested two previous Bathurst enduros with Class B GT3 Cup machinery, but has upgraded to an outright assault for 2015.

Long will be joined in the car by the returning USA-based Australian David Calvert-Jones and Kiwi Chris Pither.

The car, which is the 32nd GT3 entry confirmed for the race, will again be run with the assistance of local Porsche team McElrea Racing.

“Every year the Bathurst 12 Hour grows in profile to the point that it is now one of the most prestigious races on the international GT calendar,” said Long.

“Next year’s field is shaping to be the biggest and best in the race’s history, and I am thrilled we will have an outright FIA GT3 package to ideally be at to the head of it.”

Pither, whose link with the team comes through sponsor Ice Break, steps into the seat previously occupied by Alex Davison.

The Dunlop Series driver has driven a variety of machinery in previous Bathurst 12 Hours, including production class BMWs and Holden Astras, as well as the MARC Focus V8 last year.

“A Porsche 997 GT3R will certainly be the fastest car I have raced on the Mountain and I am expecting it to be one of the most exciting,” he said.

“I am also looking forward to working with a driver of Patrick Long’s calibre, as I am sure I will learn from his international experience.”

Calvert-Jones is the entry’s unseeded driver, but boasts experience in American categories including the United SportsCar Championship and Continental Tires SportsCar Challenge.

“It truly is a highlight of the year for me to come home and race at this incredible circuit and event, next year more than ever as we will be outright contenders for the first time,” he said.

The Competition Motorsports Porsche is the second GT3R entered in the outright class, with Andrew Macpherson’s locally based car also among the bumper field.

Entries for the 12 Hour close on December 11 ahead of the February 6-8 event.

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