REIGNING CHAMPIONS SET TO CHALLENGE IN 2009
With nine weeks remaining before the 2009 WPS Bathurst 12 Hour Showroom Enduro, the reigning champions have announced they will contest for back-to-back victories come February.
Rod Salmon and Damien White will return to the Mount Panorama circuit in the SKWIRK.com.au Mitsubishi Evo, joined for 2009 by motoring identity Tony Longhurst for a full-on assault at the title.
"Last year we were not expecting to win -- we went up there with the idea of putting a pretty strong team together and running in the top ten," said team manager and driver Salmon.
"Motorsport to me is all about eliminating the variables and putting the best package together -- the car, the drivers, the team behind it -- and for 2008 it all came together exceptionally well for us.
"Last year we would have been happy with a top ten, but for 2009 we will be heading there with one intention -- to win.
"With the result we had last year, and we expect to be faster this time around, there is no use going there to have fun, instead we are going there to win and that is what we really will be working towards.
"We are very happy also to see Tony join the team for 2009 -- he has a massive amount of Bathurst and just general motor sport experience and when he approached me about joining the team at Mt Buller this year I was more than happy to welcome him aboard.
"With Tony joining the team, Mitsubishi Ralliart and Alan Heaphy preparing the car -- which will either be the race winning car from 2008 or a faster, more technologically advanced EVO X -- our average lap times will be faster, our technical knowledge will be upped and while it will be very, very, hard to go back to back, I think we have a chance."
White started and finished the team's race for 2008, and said that while they could look back at the win they already have, the focus would more be on looking forward to claiming the back to back victory.
"I am psyched," said White.
"Any laps at Bathurst are good laps, and to be going there as the defending WPS Bathurst 12 Hour champion team is already starting a buzz in the team even though it is still nine weeks away.
"I am also looking forward to sharing the car with a driver of the caliber of Tony Longhurst, the guy is a legend and I really believe with the car and now Tony we are going to have a very strong combination come February."
The 2009 WPS Bathurst Showroom Enduro will be held at Mount Panorama on February 20-22. Tickets are now on sale and would make the perfect Christmas gift for that special someone in your family or circle of friends.
The 2008 WPS 12 Hour Showroom Enduro attracted in excess of 100 drivers across 37 entries from various parts of Australia and New Zealand with the Mitsubishi Evo IX of Damien White, Graham Alexander and Rod Salmon taking the victory.