The team will compete in their first Bathurst 12 hr event this weekend, with drivers Steven Carlile, Justin Fortener, Ryan Schuld, and Patrick Byrne sharing duties in their Mercedes AMG GT3. With a 6th and 9th place finish in last month’s Daytona 24 and a P2 finish in their most recent Blancpain Endurance event, they hope to ride a wave of momentum up and down the Mount Panorama circuit in New South Wales, Australia.
Carlile stated, “Because of the server issues at Daytona, we were hesitant about signing up for this race. But ultimately it was the prestige of the event that lured us back in. Just to say that we’ve completed a full 12 hours at Bathurst would be a win in our books, and that’s what we aim to do.”
“The track is fast, tight, exhilarating, and can jump out and grab you the moment you let your guard down and get complacent. This is a place that requires your full attention at every moment in order to complete a lap unscathed, and having to do that for 12 hours will be a true test of our mental toughness for sure.”
Mount Panorama Circuit is a motor racing track located in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia. It is situated on a hill with the dual official names of Mount Panorama and Wahluu and is best known as the home of the Bathurst 1000 motor race held each October, and the Bathurst 12 Hour event held each February. The 6.213 km (4 mi) long track is technically a street circuit, and is a public road, with normal speed restrictions, when no racing events are being run, and there are many residences which can only be accessed from the circuit.
The track is an unusual design by modern standards, with a 174-metre (571 ft) vertical difference between its highest and lowest points, and grades as steep as 1:6.13. From the start-finish line, the track can be viewed in three sections; the short pit straight and then a tight left turn into the long, steep Mountain straight; the tight, narrow section across the top of the mountain itself; and then the long, downhill section of Conrod Straight, with the very fast Chase and the turn back onto pit straight to complete the lap.
Historically, the racetrack has been used for a wide variety of racing categories, including everything from open-wheel racers to motorcycles. However, the factors that make the track so unusual, and tighter modern safety standards, make it unlikely that major race meetings in these categories will be held there again, and as such it has become the near-exclusive province of closed-bodied cars.