Newcastle motorsport enthusiast David Searle has committed to building a new BMW 135i to race in the Bathurst 12 Hour Showroom Enduro, 12 - 14 February 2010.
The BMW will race in Class B of the event, for High Performance Rear Wheel Drive cars, and will go head to head with the BMW 335i which won the event in 2007.
Searle has been involved in the Bathurst 12 Hour for the past three years as Team Manager/Engineer and is no stranger to building cars.
"It won't arrive until the 12th (September.) We have built plenty of them before and we are hoping to have it on the track for testing in November," he explained
The 135i was unanimously voted Best Performance Car over $60,000 in The Age's Drive Car of the Year 2008 Awards as well as winning Best Sports Car under $80,000 in the latest Australia's Best Cars Awards.
The 135i is equivalent to the 335i in performance however is lighter and smaller, with a better power to weight ratio.
"We think the 135i will be lighter on fuel, easier on tyres and brakes than the 335i, and should be a little more nimble through the traffic and across the mountain. Our aim is to win this event outright therefore we are committed to building a front running car."
Searles' son Luke will be one of the lucky three to drive the car and the team is currently looking for two other drivers to join their Bathurst attack.
"We don't have anyone else to drive it at the moment but we are looking for the right driving combo. They have to be good as everyone else will be second," he said with a grin.
Luke Searle has a wealth of experience with BMW's having driven the BMW 130i in the Shannon Nationals, and the 335i with teammates Barry Morcom and Paul Stubber in this years' Bathurst 12 Hour placing first in their class and fifth overall. Searle was the surprise of qualifying at this years event, putting the Morcom BMW on the front row ahead of the more fancied Paul Morris/Garry Holt BMW 335i.
The Sherrin Rentals race team recently completed the building of a new 135i for the 12 Hour event. The car has already been tested at Queensland Raceway and the Sherrin Team is hoping they can repeat their previous Bathurst success which included a class win in 2007.
Supplementary regulations, eligibility list and entry forms will be released in the next week with entries opening on September 28.
The Bathurst 12 Hour Showroom Enduro is now in its 4th year, with a grid of over 50 cars expected to compete. The race features production cars in a class structure representative of the mass road going market. BMW, Mitsubishi, Ford, Holden, Nissan and Subaru are expected to compete for outright honours, while an Alternative Energy class is open to diesel, hybrid and LPG entries.
The Event will be televised in a 3 hour special on the SEVEN Network, through Fox Sports, New Zealand and other International Markets.