BMW targeting 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour

BMW Australia’s new Australian GT programme is targeting a factory entry at the 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour.

While the two pre-ordered M6 GT3s heading to Australia are likely to land shortly before next year’s Bathurst 12 Hour, they won’t be eligible for the race as they won’t have yet been classified by the Blancpain Series Balance of Performance.

However, Steve Richards – who will spearhead BMW’s motor racing activities in Australia – says the plan is to run an Aussie factory car, and customer cars from around the world, at the race in 2017.

“The Blancpain Series doesn’t do it’s Balance of Performance until late March or something like that, so it doesn’t make us eligible for next year,” explained Richards.

“But for sure, the intention is for 2017 that we have not only a car that will be at that race, but also a support programme and background for any other M6 GT3s customers from around the world that may want to participate in that race.”

More local cars as soon as 2016

As for the Australian GT Championship, with plans for a single works entry there will be scope for expansion in terms of customer cars right from the get-go in 2016.

There is already one extra car on its way, with more of the new GT3 cars able to be built on-demand.

The cost for a turn-key car is €379,000.

“2016 will be a ramp-up year, and then we’ll see how we go. The intention is to attract as many customers as possible to engage in Australian GT,” said BMW Group Australia’s CEO Marc Werner

“Munich is building the initial 20 cars at the moment, and we’re getting two cars out of the initial 20. The next batch is basically a question of demand; the factory is flexible to build additional cars, we just need to place some orders.

“We are flexible as far as that is concerned, but our clear intention is to get a second team onboard ASAP.”

Customer teams will have the benefit of on and off track support from SRM Team BMW, the factory squad that will be led by Bathurst 1000 winner Richards.

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Series Australian GT
Article type Breaking news