Mercedes Formula One test driver Brendon Hartley will make his Bathurst debut next weekend (February 8-10 2013) in the annual 12-hour race at the legendary Mount Panorama circuit.
Fresh from driving duties in last weekends Rolex 24 at Daytona in America the 23-year old New Zealander will share the cockpit with US-based South African Mark Patterson and Hong Kong-based Alain Li for an all-out challenge in the classic GT endurance event.
Having gained valuable experience from the race last year the team has invested in the new Audi R8 LMS ultra and expect to be able to challenge for the win.
Brendon has a wealth of experience in single-seaters clinching the 2007 World Series by Renault – Eurocup 2.0 title before contesting the British Formula 3 Championship, the GP2 Series, and then a move into the Formula One arena.
This will be his first time behind the wheel of a GT car having successfully campaigned an LMP2 Oreca Nissan in both the WEC, Le Mans and the ELMS.
The Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour is quickly becoming recognised as one of the premier endurance races around the world with many of the leading marques in international sportscar racing increasing their involvement.
The event will test both men and machine to the limit around the awesome 6.213 km-long roller-coaster Mount Panorama circuit.
The 2013 race will begin at 7am to 7pm on Sunday 10th February.
Alain Li (F), Born: Caen, France. Lives: Hong Kong: ““ It is great to be back behind the wheel with United at such a brilliant event. Mark and I have driven together here and in Spa before and he is a great teammate and fun to be with off the track as well. I am looking forward to Brendon joining us.
He has an impressive cv and it’s always beneficial having someone of his caliber to work with. It will be my first time in a car since I won the Ferrari Challenge support event at the Singapore Grand Prix last year so I'm hoping that we can challenge for a podium."
Mark Patterson (SA), Born: Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Lives: Bronxville, NY, USA ”Teaming up with United Autosports and my reliable partner Alain Li again at one of the world's most challenging race tracks is a real thrill.
Last year we weren't able to finish the race despite some solid early stints, so seeing this one through in a field twice as deep is our primary objective.
Promoter James O'Brien has worked hard on promoting this event, traveling the world, and this deep field shows his effort has paid off. Can't wait to hear that eternal racing call to duty: "Gentlemen, start your intestines!!!!!".
Brendan Hartley (NZ), Born: Palmerston North “As a Kiwi I have always wanted to race at Bathurst so I am very excited that I have this opportunity. It will also be my debut in a GT car with the Audi so I am looking forward the challenge.
United Autosports are a top professional team so I'm sure we can get up to speed quickly and be in a position to aim for a top result. I’m really looking forward to it”.
Richard Dean (GB), Managing Director & Co-Owner of United Autosports: "Bathurst is one of the most iconic race circuits anywhere in the world, and the 12-hour race is now a major fixture on the calendar For United Autosports this is a very important race and we are very proud to be part of this great event.”
Zak Brown (USA): “ We are delighted to have Brendan as part of the driver line-up for Bathurst. To be attracting a current Formula One star to race our Audi GT3 at such a great event is a testament to the strength of our team”.