Bathurst 12: Event newsletter 2009-02-15

08 CHAMPIONS DETERMINED TO DEFEND WPS BATHURST 12 HOUR CROWN Television coverage and live timing confirmed Defending WPS Bathurst 12 Hour Showroom Enduro Champions, Rod Salmon and Damien White, are heading back to Mount Panorama with one goal...

08 CHAMPIONS DETERMINED TO DEFEND WPS BATHURST 12 HOUR CROWN

Television coverage and live timing confirmed

Defending WPS Bathurst 12 Hour Showroom Enduro Champions, Rod Salmon and Damien White, are heading back to Mount Panorama with one goal in mind this weekend -- defending their title.

The pair will be joined in their quest for back-to-back victories by dual Bathurst Champion, Tony Longhurst, aboard a brand new Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X for the once around the clock encounter.

"We are coming back to Mt Panorama for only one reason -- to win," said team owner and driver Rod Salmon.

"Last year we went there with the thought of a top 10 finish. We only decided to enter five weeks beforehand, and the Evo IX was a hard-lived tarmac rally car. There was a lot of last-minute preparation; even our practice time was spent reconfiguring the entire set-up of the car.

"But this year, the preparations started in July 2008 when the new Evo X was ordered, and it has been engineered from front to back for tarmac circuit racing."

The car was prepared by the frontrunners in Evo X development worldwide, Team Mitsubishi Ralliart (TMR), under the direction of Team Manager Alan Heaphy and Peter West.

"The new TMR Evo X is a work of art," said White.

"It's easier to drive than the Evo IX. My second lap during testing this week at Broadford was easily quicker than the Evo IX in years gone by. You can see that TMR are as pumped as we are about the race - bring it on!

"I am also looking forward to sharing the car with a driver of Tony Longhurst's calibre. It's a great measure to be in the same car on the same day as someone who has won the Bathurst 1000 twice. Though the focus on the day will be beating the other competitors, not each other."

Longhurst was chosen for both his past Bathurst wins, and his recent success competing in tarmac rally with a similar AWD turbocharged car.

"I'm excited to be driving with Rod and Damien; they won last year so I'm basically jumping into the best car down there," said Longhurst.

"I've done thousands of kays around Bathurst, and it's still my favourite place to race but I haven't driven there for a couple of years, and I'm itching to get back on it.

"The Evo X feels great. It's a bit different to what I've driven (at Bathurst) but it's a rock solid car, a great team and a great challenge."

The 2009 WPS Bathurst 12 Hour Showroom Enduro will be held at Mount Panorama on February 20-22 with an excess of 140 drivers across 48 entries set to take to the track. In addition to the 12 Hour race the Event will also incorporate the opening round of the 2009 Shannon's Nationals which will feature the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge, Saloon Cars, Formula Vee, HQ Holden's and Improved Production.

12 HOUR ON SEVEN AND LIVE TIMING ON WWW.BATHURST12HOUR.COM.AU

The 2009 WPS Bathurst 12 Hour Showroom Enduro will be shown in a three hour highlights telecast on Channel Seven on Saturday March 14 between 2:00pm and 5:00pm.

-credit: bathurst12hour.com.au

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Series CAMS
Drivers Tony Longhurst , Rod Salmon , Damien White