Bathurst 12: Team Eastern Creek Karts event summary

TEAM EASTERN CREEK KARTS REBOUNDS AFTER BATHURST DAY OF DRAMA DESPITE A DAY FILLED WITH DRAMA, Team Eastern Creek Karts has bounced back in tenacious fashion from a day of drama to secure a class podium and a top ten outright finish in the WPS...

TEAM EASTERN CREEK KARTS REBOUNDS AFTER BATHURST DAY OF DRAMA

DESPITE A DAY FILLED WITH DRAMA, Team Eastern Creek Karts has bounced back in tenacious fashion from a day of drama to secure a class podium and a top ten outright finish in the WPS Bathurst 12 hour showroom Enduro.

The team will surely feature regularly on the Seven Network TV coverage (to be broadcast on March 14th) after experiencing almost everything that Mount Panorama can throw at a team - whilst in the process still finishing strongly.

After a strong start, the team battled though nearly fifteen visits to Pit Lane, four blown tyres, a lap spent stuck in the chase sand trap and several other issues to still finish third in the high-performance rear wheel drive class and eighth outright.

The combination of Garry Holt, Paul Morris and Rick Shaw completed 228 laps and finished a lap ahead of the next-best class A car.

With a clear race strategy in mind, the #20 BMW 335i Turbo started strongly and ran inside the top six for the opening stanza of the race before the car spluttered, low on fuel, before the first stop. The team lost significant time after driver Garry Holt was sent around for a further lap prior to pitting.

Just a few laps later the right-front tyre suffered a puncture, the first of what would be many that would hinder the cars’ progress throughout the day.

The BMW was forced to pit lane on four separate occasions with punctures - changing the right front tyre four times despite not touching the left side of the car all race long.

The car then survived the last five hours with no power steering, the problem aiding Rick Shaw off the track at the chase in one of the most spectacular moments of the race. At full speed, over 250km/hr, Shaw grappled for control of the car before flying across the sand trap, and then a kerb, to end up beached deep in the sand.

Despite breaking the two hooks and taking several agonising minutes to be removed from the sand - and despite the continuing tyre dramas - the Eastern Creek Karts BMW then ran reliably all day to finish the race.

Morris pressed hard for the final stint to bring the car home in its top-ten position and third in class, the third time in three years that the car has finished on the class podium to continue the stunning run of consistent performances from the Eastern Creek Karts team at Bathurst.

“Despite all the dramas I’m pretty happy with the fact we still got 8th outright and third in class,” Said team owner / driver Garry Holt.

“It was a very challenging day for the team and the tyre problem was frustrating. We had a plan to have Paul (Morris) in the car for the final three hours to race the car home, but that went out the window as soon as we nearly ran out of fuel in the opening stint and went that extra lap with the car spluttering around.

“We changed pressures, suspension settings and it didn’t change a thing. We didn’t change the tyres at all on the left side but went through four of them on the right hand side.

“Despite the problems we have again proved how competitive our car and team is at this event.” Holt added.

The sister BMW 335i turbo of Barry Morcom, Luke Searle and Paul Stubber finished the race an excellent fifth outright and won the High performance rear wheel drive class, with a strong and consistent performance that saw them qualify third and race competitively for the entire 12 hour race - despite also struggling with tyre issues on the right-front.

Team Eastern Creek Karts would like to acknowledge and thank the support of Sennheiser, Racer Industries, Farina Smash Repairs, Radio 2GB and the Eastern Creek International Karting Raceway.

-credit: eck

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Series CAMS
Drivers Paul Morris , Luke Searle , Garry Holt , Barry Morcom