NEW QUALIFYING FORMAT BACKED BY ARMOR ALL

THE EXCITING NEW Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour Qualifying format that rewards the entire driving team will now carry added importance, following conformation that Pole Award will again be sponsored by Armor All.

Armor All, one of the world's leading manufacturers of car care products, will provide a prize of $5,000 to the team securing the coveted pole position for the round-the-clock enduro.

New for this year, the qualifying format in place requires each driver entered in a competing vehicle to set a time during the qualifying session, with the aggregate time of all three drivers utilised to set the qualifying grid.

In 2009 Superbarn Supermarkets team of James and Theo Koundouris and Steve Owen took out the Award in their Mitsubishi Evo 9 RS in a time of 2:28:88, before Owen last year lowered that mark to 2:26.65s to again secure pole for his team.

The introduction of GT cars this year will see individual times dramatically reduce, with the fastest laps anticipated in the 2m08-second bracket, indicating that a strong aggregate time for pole position could be approximately 6:45s.

Armor All, now in their second year of naming-rights sponsorship of the Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour, also support the V8 Supercars Championship Pole Award, and are a major sponsor of the V8 Ute series in Australia.

"Qualifying will be a different challenge this year thanks to the new regulations," two-time Armor All Pole Award winner Steve Owen said.

"It places the emphasis on having three evenly matched drivers who can each lap within a second or two of each other. It's a new challenge and shows the consistency you need to be strong in a race like the 12 Hour."

Event Director James O'Brien said the Event was thrilled to retain the support of Armor All for the new qualifying format to be implemented this year.

"Armor All have been a supporter of the Event since its re-introduction in 2007 and we are delighted to see 'Arnie' offering another $5,000 cheque to the pole sitters.

"Qualifying is only a small part of the 12 Hour Race, but thanks to Armor All it has again become a key and exciting part of our Saturday program."

Qualifying for the Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour will be held over two, one-hour sessions on Saturday, February 5th.

GT vehicles will join with production cars for the first time in 2011, with entries secured from Audi, BMW, Corvette, Ferrari, Ford, Holden, Lotus, Mitsubishi, Mosler, Nissan, Porsche and Subaru.

Historic Group N Touring Cars, Group C & A Historic Touring Cars, Improved Production, HQ Holden's and Formula Vee will feature throughout Friday and Saturday's action, ensuring a racing program that caters to nearly every type of Australian Motorsport fan.

-source: www.bathurst12hour.com.au