Mosler adds top woman driver for Bathurst 24

One of the fastest international entries in November's Bathurst 24-Hour motor race will have a world record-breaking woman driver from the Queensland Gold Coast in its team. Heather Spurle, 43, has signed to drive a 300 kmh Mosler MT900R...

One of the fastest international entries in November's Bathurst 24-Hour motor race will have a world record-breaking woman driver from the Queensland Gold Coast in its team.

Heather Spurle, 43, has signed to drive a 300 kmh Mosler MT900R coupe for the Rollcentre Racing team and will fly out tomorrow to test the car in England on Friday.

The deal coincides with major achievements for both parties -- Spurle is recovering from cancer, while Rollcentre Racing clinched the prestigious British GT Championship in the final round last Sunday.

The American-built Mosler finished last year's inaugural Bathurst 24-Hour in second place and was the first international entry for the 2003 event, which will be run on 21-23 November.

Spurle will be one of four drivers, including team owner Martin Short, in the Mosler and will contribute a wealth of racing experience to Rollcentre's bid to win this year's race.

She is the current holder of the Woman's Unlimited and the Woman's Grand Prix class world water speed records, set at 271 kmh in New Zealand in 1990, and holds three NZ land speed records and six endurance records up to 24 hours.

She has competed in 24-hour races at Nurburgring, Germany, and Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and in the Bathurst 1000 in a Holden V8.

However, Spurle's racing ambitions were set back when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last March.

"The illness was a shock, but the recovery has motivated me to get back into racing and I can't wait to get behind the wheel at Bathurst," Spurle said from her Runaway Bay home.

"We had actually started negotiations to get back into racing prior to the cancer diagnosis, but I am fortunate Martin Short allowed me the time to recover and confirm I would be fit to drive.

"I've raced all sorts of cars and all sorts of tracks over the past 23 years and the Bathurst 24-Hour is definitely one of the most exciting challenges in motorsport today.

"I'm absolutely thrilled to be doing the event with Martin and the Rollcentre Mosler.

"With their form in winning the British GT Championship at the weekend, we're certainly in with a strong chance at Bathurst."

Spurle leaves tomorrow on a five-day trip to England and is due to have a familiarisation test in the Mosler on Friday at either the Donington or Snetterton circuits.

The Mosler will still be in the trim in which it won round 11 of the British GT series at Brands Hatch circuit in Kent on Sunday.

Short and co-driver Tom Herridge took the car to a comfortable victory in the 75-minute event after both their championship rivals crashed. Herridge clinched the 2003 drivers championship.

For Bathurst, Spurle will take support from XenonOz, which will test its high-intensity low-power xenon gas headlights for road and race use.

Entry nominations for teams contesting the Bathurst 24-Hour and support races close at midnight tomorrow.

The 24-Hour race will be the centrepiece of a huge weekend of entertainment at Bathurst.

Other attractions are planned to include a ute muster, a country music concert featuring singer (and V8 BRute driver) Adam Brand on Mount Panorama and special entertainment in the Bathurst city centre.

The Channel Seven television network will devote more than seven hours' live coverage to the race, mixed with its telecast on Saturday night of the Rugby World Cup final match, which will be watched by fans on two giant screens at the top and bottom of Mount Panorama.

Tickets to the Bathurst 24-Hour are on sale from $32 for adults through Ticketmaster7, on ph. 1300 136 122 or www.ticketmaster7.com.au.

-www.bathurst24hr.com.

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Series Supercars
Drivers Martin Short , Adam Brand , Tom Herridge , Heather Spurle