An Australian team representing the Bathurst 24-Hour motor race is tackling the world's largest endurance event at Germany's Nurburgring circuit this weekend. Signs promoting November's second annual Bathurst race are being carried on the BMW M3...
An Australian team representing the Bathurst 24-Hour motor race is tackling the world's largest endurance event at Germany's Nurburgring circuit this weekend.
Signs promoting November's second annual Bathurst race are being carried on the BMW M3 coupe being driven by Ross Palmer, Peter Boylan, Geoff Morgan and Peter Hansen, who will be among 210 crews starting the event on Saturday.
Their Austrian-based Duller Motorsport team BMW finished third outright at Bathurst last November with an international driving crew.
Palmer, Chairman of motorsport events company PROCAR Australia, modelled his Bathurst race on the Nurburgring 24-hour, which he is contesting for the sixth time.
"Bathurst together with Spa (Belgium) and Nurburgring are rated the three best endurance circuits in the world by many world-famous racing drivers and that convinced me that we had to have a similar race in Australia every year," Palmer said.
"The Bathurst 24-Hour event will get bigger and bigger every year and I am certain that it will grow to a similar world-class status as the Nurburgring 24-hour race."
The four Australians already have driven around 1000 km. each in private practice on the circuit over the past few days.
Peter Hansen said: "Although I have raced here before, it is a long time ago and because the circuit is 22 km. long it is difficult to remember and the only way to learn the track is simply to practice and practice; 1000 km. is not even 50 laps around here but we are all very comfortable with the circuit now."
Up to 200,000 spectators are expected to watch the race. The Australian contingent reports the circuit area is in carnival mode, with camping grounds around the track filling up and spectators securing their positions up to five days ahead. Every hotel bed in the region is taken.
Bathurst 24-Hour event manager Brian Lawrence also is at the Nurburgring to promote the Australian race to potential international entrants and has reported strong interest.
"From our point of view, there is enormous potential for the Bathurst 24-Hour race to become part of the world scene," Lawrence said.
"The Nurburgring 24-hour is the biggest race in the world; there is also a 24-hour event at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium in August and then there is the Bathurst 24-Hour race in November.
"Several European teams have already registered their intention to come to Bathurst and we expect the event to grow and grow with more international teams and visitors every year.
"The Bathurst 24-Hour will be the last international endurance race of the season, which will allow teams and visitors to stay longer in the Bathurst region, benefiting the economy and tourism."