Defending Champion Hopes to Regain Bathurst 12 Hour Honours

Team Ralliart's Alan Heaphy has re-entered the 2009 winning Mitsubishi Evo X that was driven to victory by Damien White, Rod Salmon and Tony Longhurst into the 2010 Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour Showroom Enduro, 12 – 14 February.

TMR Australia owner, Heaphy believes the Evo X has what it takes to claim victory in the 2010 Event and has begun preparations.

"The odds are becoming harder. We have started doing our homework for next year and we've had a good run so far."

"At this stage it looks like we will have the same drivers as last year, Damien White and Rod Salmon will be back but we're not sure at this stage if Tony Longhurst will be in the car."

Heaphy has had a good run at the Event entering two cars in 2008 and 2009 and claiming first and second both times.

In 2008 he entered two Mitsubishi Evo 9 cars and the winning one was driven by Salmon, White and Graham Alexander.

"We were fortunate enough to win the first two podium spots in 2008 and then again this year," said Heaphy.

"We are going to enter the two cars again and Western Australians Glyn Crimp, Tony Ricciardello and Stuart Kostera will be back in the (second) car."

"We are also working on a third car to run next year which could be driven by a New Zealand crew but nothing has been confirmed at this stage," said Heaphy.

Two times 12 hour winner, Rod Salmon, has been getting in a lot of practice with Heaphy's Mitsubishi Evo X this year and has been a regular at the Australian Manufacturers Racing Championship, currently running in third.

"We (Salmon and Heaphy) are on our way to Bathurst now for the Sprint competition, so we will be looking at the car and any changes it may need for next year's Event," explained Heaphy.

The Armor All 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.

-credit: bathurst 12