911 On Podium In Dramatic Bathurst Race
A dramatic close to the 12-hour race at Bathurst saw the Black Swan Racing 911 GT3 R clinch third. A serious accident shortly before the closing stages of the event on the Mount Panorama Circuit upset the flow of the race bringing out the red flags. Marc Lieb, Timothy Pappas, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Luca Stolz finished top of the four 911 GT3 Rs taking part, but without the red flag things might have been very different.
The Competition Motorsports 911 driven by Patrick Long had moved into the lead after four and a half hours. The 911 GT3 R fielded by Manthey-Racing, with drivers Romain Dumas, Dirk Werner and Frédéric Makowiecki made up no less than 21 positions, which saw the team running fifth at half distance. The Black Swan Racing crew moved from 25th on the grid to eighth. In the second half of the race, Romain Dumas, later Matt Campbell and finally Frédéric Makowiecki took a turn at the lead.
With 47 minutes left on the clock, Frédéric Makowiecki was running in the lead in Manthey-Racing’s 911 GT3 R, the team’s decision to make an early pit stop though put them out of position when the race was red-flagged. Makowiecki and teammates Dirk Werner and Romain Dumas finished sixth – one position behind Earl Bamber, Laurens Vanthoor, and Kévin Estre who shared the second Manthey-Racing 911. Somewhat ironically it was Vanthoor’s brother, Dries, who was part of the squad driving the overall winning Audi.
The Competition Motorsports entry, with Patrick Long and Porsche Young Professional Matt Campbell and his Australian compatriots David Calvert-Jones and Alex Davison finished in fourth. Unlike the two cars ahead of them, all the 911s had enough fuel on board to complete the entire race distance, the early termination of the race neutralised that advantage. In taking the final podium spot Black Swan Racing won Class A Pro-Am. The Grove Motorsports 911, shared by Briton Ben Barker, father-son duo Stephen and Brenton Grove, and Daniel Gaunt, secured the second class victory, with the squad taking home the Class B trophy with the 911 GT3 Cup.
Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars, commented: “That was an extremely exciting race characterised by many safety car phases. Four Porsche in the top six – but unfortunately not in the positions we had aimed for. Still, we can take many positives home with us from this season-opener of the Intercontinental GT Challenge. We’re not where we want to be with the pace and the qualifying results, but we can still be very happy with the efficiency and the strong team performance.”
Ben Barker said: “What an incredible, dramatic and crazy race. We scored the class win, that’s a fantastic result for this great team.”
|1. Frijns/Leonard/D. Vanthoor||Audi R8||271 laps|
|2. Habul/Vautier/Whincup/Marciello||Mercedes GT3||271 laps|
|3. Pappas/Lieb/Bleekemolen/Stolz||911 GT3 R||271 laps|
|4. Long/Campbell/Calvert-Jones/Davison||911 GT3 R||271 laps|
|5. Bamber/Estre/Vanthoor||911 GT3 R||271 laps|
|6. Dumas/Werner/Makowiecki||911 GT3 R||271 laps|
Class A GT3 Pro-Am
|1.Lieb/Campbell/Calvert-Jones/Davison||911 GT3 R|
Class B GT3
|1.Barker/Grove/Grove/Gaunt||911 GT3 Cup|