Baird to make Mercedes-AMG B6Hr return

Mat Coch

Saturday 17th February, 2018 - 6:29pm

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Craig Baird and Garth Walden are set to team up in a Mercedes-AMG A45

Craig Baird will return to the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour alongside Garth Walden as the duo once again pair up in a Mercedes-AMG A45.

Having qualified inside the top 10, the pair were in contention for last year’s until the car caught fire late in proceedings.

Despite that setback, Baird is enthusiastic to return to the mountain following an appearance at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour earlier this month.

“Any time you can race a car, driving a road car would be enjoyable if you get an opportunity,” Baird told Speedcafe.com of the opportunity race at Mount Panorama.

“Especially with a good team like Garth’s, he runs a really good outfit, very professional.”

Having twice led the race, Baird was behind the wheel last year in the closing stages when a turbo failure saw the car catch fire on the front straight.

“We just had a little drama at the end, a little barbecue,” Baird recalled.

“(The car) did have good speed last year, it’s just a matter of we just had a reliability issue at the end.”

With the Mercedes-AMG A45 having largely sat idle since last year’s race, Walden admits that there were initially no plans to take part in the 2018 encounter.

“I wasn’t going to run because the owner is quite sick and (the car) was for sale, but the sale’s been put off until after the 6 Hour now,” he told Speedcafe.com.

“We’ve fixed up all the issues but the car, we should have a little bit more speed but it definitely hasn’t done the testing that I’d hoped that we could be doing.”

A second Mercedes-AMG A45 will be fielded by the team, which last year was piloted by Ben Porter, Duvashen Padayachee, and car owner Robert Woods.

That car has also done comparatively little running since last April, though was used at the Phillip Island 4 Hour as part of the Australian Production Car Series in September.

Woods is a shoe-in for the event, though Walden at this stage is uncertain who’ll be alongside him.

“I don’t know the other two drivers yet,” he admitted.

“I think it’ll be another Am driver and another Pro driver, but who that is, I’m not quite sure.”

Earlier this month organisers announced a 60-car field for this years event, up from the 56 entries it announced in October, with entries yet to close.

The bumper entry list comes despite event director James O’Brien looking at potentially lowering the number of entries after the 2017 event was marred by Safety Cars.

The Bathurst 6 Hour takes place over the Easter weekend, from March 30 to April 1.

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