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Campbell still rates Bathurst 12Hr victory a career best

Mat Coch

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Friday 31st January, 2020 - 11:30am

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Matt Campbell takes the chequered flag to win last year’s Bathurst 12 Hour

Matt Campbell has reaffirmed his belief that victory at the 2019 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour is the most significant moment in his motorsport career to date.

Campbell partnered with Dirk Werner and Dennis Olsen in an Earl Bamber Motorsport-entered Porsche for last year’s event, the Australian moving from third to first in the final hour of the race to seal the win.

An emotional Campbell at the time branded the win the best moment of his career, a claim that 12 months on he stands by despite winning the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“For me, that’s my biggest achievement and highlight in my motorsport career thus far,” Campbell told Speedcafe.com.

“Obviously Le Mans was very special, but I think the way we went about this race last year, the focus we put into it, the preparation, and obviously the execution in the end, was really something quite special.

“So, (it) played a big thing for me in my career. I think it really put me on a GT world scale, and obviously the way we’re able to achieve the win was a fantastic result.”

Now a fully fledged factory driver with Porsche, Campbell competes in the IMSA SportsCar Championship in the United States, and World Endurance Championship, together with the Intercontinental GT Challenge.

He was in action for the 24 Hours of Daytona last weekend, finishing third after qualifying on the class pole.

However, despite his busy schedule, and the venues globally at which he competes, he ranks Mount Panorama at the top of the pile.

“It’s my favourite racetrack in the entire world and one of my favourite events, so to come back now as a reigning champion is really exciting.

Campbell is this year racing for Absolute Racing, which will put him in direct competition with the team for whim he won the race a year ago.

“It’s friendly rivalry, but we want to beat him as well, there’s no doubt,” said Campbell.

“Obviously we’ve got a brand new car this weekend too, which is a new challenge, but we’ve got a year of experience under our belt already and I have no doubt we can be on the pace, which we showed many times last year with the new generation.

“You want to try and go back to back, but in saying that, you look at the competition this weekend,” he added.

“The level of teams and cars, this event’s just getting bigger and bigger, and for sure this year, I think, will be the most challenging yet.

“You look at what the whole Intercontinental GT Challenge Championship was like all last year,” he continued.

“I mean, the racing, the level was so high, and for me it’s my favourite championship in the entire world now.

“The tracks we get to go to, the teams, the drivers that are involved, the level is just massively high, and that’s why it’s so special, especially to come to the Bathurst.

“That level of competition is extremely tough and that’s exactly what I love.”

Practice for this weekend’s Bathurst 12 Hour continues with Practice 3 scheduled for 12:20 local time/AEDT, another hour long session, while Practice 4 at 15:05 rounds out the day.

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