Bathurst 12: Lauren Gray preview

LAUREN GRAY SET FOR SECOND SHOT AT BATHURST 12 HOUR VICTORIAN Lauren Gray will return to the WPS Bathurst 12 hour endurance race after confirming she has joined the GWS Personnel team to drive a BMW 130i in the 2009 running of the production car...

LAUREN GRAY SET FOR SECOND SHOT AT BATHURST 12 HOUR

VICTORIAN Lauren Gray will return to the WPS Bathurst 12 hour endurance race after confirming she has joined the GWS Personnel team to drive a BMW 130i in the 2009 running of the production car classic.

Gray, from Altona in Melbourne's West, will be looking for her second start in the 12 hour after starting the 2007 race as a member of an all-female factory Holden team driving a diesel Holden Astra, sadly failing to finish when the car stopped after half-race distance with mechanical problems.

After a competitive campaign that saw her clinch class E in the 2008 Australian Manufacturers Championship driving a diminutive Toyota Echo, Gray will step up a class on her return to Bathurst when she takes the wheel of the BMW 130i that was formally owned by the competitive Searle family outfit.

The car - now running in Class D for ‘hot hatch' production cars - finished an impressive 6th outright in 2008 completing 243 laps of Mount Panorama.

A kind offer from team owner Alan Shepard will see the 21-year-old Gray partner with New Zealanders John DeVeth and Rob Thomson, with the sister car being piloted by Shepard, Peter O'Donnell and Christian D'Agostin.

Members of the Lauren Gray Motorsport crew will assist the GWS Personnel / True Blue Racing operation for the duration event to form a particularly strong two-car operation with an eye on upsetting some of the more favoured turbo-4WD and V8 powered cars.

Though Gray is more accustomed to driving front wheel drive cars in the Production Car Championship, she has at least some rear-wheel drive experience on the demanding 6.213km circuit after several laps behind the wheel of a V8 Powered ride car during the 2007 event.

"It's rare that a driver gets a chance to race at Bathurst in such a good car, so I'm going to make the most of this opportunity," said Gray.

"I've got to send huge thanks out to Allan Shepard who has been a big supporter of mine since we've raced each other in production cars. I'm really looking forward to driving one of his cars at Bathurst and appreciate him giving me the call up to come and drive.

"Last time I was at Bathurst the 12 hour didn't quite go to the way I had hoped so this year I'm really looking forward to finishing, and finishing strongly. With the On-Track Motorsport boys working with LGM and Alan's team I think it will be a very competitive and reliable operation and we could surprise some of the faster cars."

Gray's teammate John DeVeth tested the car earlier this week and with everything performing well, went directly to the circuit to learn the 6.213km layout in a road car prior to the race itself.

Rob Thomson raced a Lotus Exige in last years event, finishing 17th after early delays.

Lauren Gray's 2009 WPS Bathurst 12 hour campaign would not be possible without the generous support of all the LGM Sponsor Partners, including Powcon, Kingsville Accident Repair Centre, Bill Maddocks / Scud Racing, Optus business direct, Car Fresh and Stuart Robson Wholesale cars.

-credit: laurengray.com

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Series CAMS
Drivers Christian D'Agostin , Peter O'Donnell , Lauren Gray , Rob Thomson