GRAY FAMILY MAKES HISTORY AT BATHURST 12 HOUR There were emotional scenes in the Lauren Gray Motorsport (LGM) garage as Michael Gray crossed the line in their class D Toyota Corolla Sportivo to complete the Armour All Bathurst 12 Hour production...
GRAY FAMILY MAKES HISTORY AT BATHURST 12 HOUR
There were emotional scenes in the Lauren Gray Motorsport (LGM) garage as Michael Gray crossed the line in their class D Toyota Corolla Sportivo to complete the Armour All Bathurst 12 Hour production car race at the weekend.
History was made and dreams realised when the pace car lead the field across the line at the end of 12 unbelievable hours of motor racing, Lauren and Michael becoming the first father and daughter pairing to complete an endurance race at Mount Panorama.
The Lauren Gray motorsport Toyota Corolla Sportivo driven by Lauren, Michael and New Zealander Tony Head completed 181 laps (1124km) of the Mount Panorama circuit and finished a commendable 20th outright, and fourth in class.
"It's huge, it's nice to be in the record books," 22-year-old Lauren Gray said.
"Dad and I are the first father and daughter team to finish. It's a massive achievement and I'm sure Dad's going to have tears in his eyes when he comes in.
"The car ran faultlessly all day long. We stuck to our plans and our ultimate aim, which was to get to the finish. Dad and Tony didn't put a foot wrong. The team has done an outstanding job and it has been a brilliant way to spend a weekend that has brought me closer to my family and our great team.
"It has been a memorable weekend."
Michael Gray was, naturally, fizzing.
"There are no tears yet but I just about shed a few as we went up Mountain Straight and back around to parc ferme, he said. It was a big effort. It was a long time in the making but we've done it."
The accomplishment was made all the more poignant due to the loss of Lauren's grandparents to cancer over the past 12 months, the team racing in their memory at the weekend.
Michael paid homage to the Sportivo, a car that performed with perfect reliability throughout the challenging race.
"I reckon we could give it a wash, pump the tyres up, put some petrol in it and do it all again tomorrow," he said.
LGM's third driver, New Zealander Tony Head, was also suitably impressed with the car.
"It's a great little thing. You can put it into holes where the bigger cars wouldn't be able to go. Sure, it might be down on power compared to the all-wheel-drive turbo cars but it's absolutely fantastic."
The only drama for LGM, a late race splash-and-dash pit stop, was overshadowed by a series of amazing events on Mount Panorama including a gum tree blocking the circuit which left Lauren and the entire field stranded at the top of the Mountain.
Twentieth place outright in a field of generally more powerful cars was an outstanding feat.
The race, which finished behind the safety car, was won by the BMW 335i of Paul Morris, John Bowe and Garry Holt.
-source: lauren gray