Bathurst 12H: TMR Australia win major race before event

TMR AUSTRALIA WIN MAJOR RACE BEFORE BATHURST 12 HOUR BEGINS TEAM MITSUBISHI RALLIART (TMR) will have a race won before they even turn a lap at this years Armor All Bathurst 12 hour, to be held at Mount Panorama in mid February. The 2008 and...

TMR AUSTRALIA WIN MAJOR RACE BEFORE BATHURST 12 HOUR BEGINS

TEAM MITSUBISHI RALLIART (TMR) will have a race won before they even turn a lap at this years Armor All Bathurst 12 hour, to be held at Mount Panorama in mid February.

The 2008 and 2009 12-hour event winning team have spent the past eight weeks salvaging the West Surfing products Mitsubishi Lancer X of owner / driver Glyn Crimp, after the car sustained a massive crash on the Mount Buller hillclimb late last year.

Crimp, who finished second in the 2009 12-hour event, had his car step out on him on the demanding hillclimb and was unable to regain control before it plummeted down a 75m drop, on it's roof.

Though the car miraculously avoided smashing into any trees, Crimp was certain that the car was destroyed - until a call from TMR Australia boss Alan Heaphy.

"The car was a mess, nothing more than a ball of metal," Crimp said.

"The car slid on its roof down the side of a hill and there was not a straight panel or a piece of glass intact on the car. I haven't seen the photos and I don't want to - it was a huge crash!"

"I thought it was trashed and would be a write-off. I was already looking at leasing another car for this years' 12-hour before Alan called and told me they could fix it... I told him he was joking!

"Eight weeks later somehow they have managed to put it back together. I don't know how they did it, especially with Christmas in the middle there, but they have and it will start the race in two weeks. It's a huge effort."

The West Surfing Products Lancer finished a close second in last years 12-hour, taking the flag just six seconds behind the sister TMR Australia Evo of Rod Salmon, Damien White and Tony Longhurst in an emphatic TMR Australia 1-2.

This year Crimp and Kostera - a winner in both Formula 3 and Formula Ford racing - will return, to be joined by the experienced Warren Luff in a bid to go one better this year.

"We went to Bathurst last year hoping to run mid-pack and get to the finish, instead we nearly won the race - it surpassed our expectations by a long way" Crimp said.

"We were lucky, so much so that two tyres went flat when we got to scrutineering after the race.

"It was an unbelievable performance. Stuie (Kostera) was unreal and played the perfect role of the No. 2 driver whilst Warren was an obvious choice for this year. He's an easy going guy and really quick but he also knows how to bring the car home and that's crucial. He's also the right height so he fits in the car! He's a class guy and we're pleased to have him on board."

Though entering the race with an essentially new car and a first-rate driver line up, Crimp remains cautious when it comes to predicting a result in this year's race, this year attracting a strong 46-car grid for the February 11 - 13 event.

"The best I can realistically say is that if we stay on the lead lap and don't have any problems, then by 3:30 PM we will be in the mix," he said cautiously.

"There are just so many variables in a race like this, so that's about all I'll say!"

-source: tmr australia

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Series CAMS
Drivers Tony Longhurst , Rod Salmon , Warren Luff , Damien White , Glyn Crimp