3/24/2020

The ups and downs of Mount Panorama.

When it comes to motorsport, there are no easy races. Each is different – and each is challenging. You certainly felt that at this year's 12 Hours of Bathurst in Australia.

When the chequered flag ended the race Down Under, we could look back on a difficult season kick-off for the International GT Challenge. The challenging Mount Panorama Circuit demanded all from the drivers. And they gave their all. The 12 Hours of Bathurst are considered to be one of the absolute classics in Australia. Once again, it had everything one could expect from a race of this duration: battles for the top positions, thrilling situations and sophisticated strategies. But sadly, also accidents, breakdowns and damages. Additional numerous safety car phases and several yellow flags resulted in a turbulent race. Under intense heat, the peloton was often brought closer together, eliminating the gaps and renewing the race for the leading positions. It was almost impossible to find the rhythm in such a race.

When the battle began.

After an outstanding qualifying session, last year's winner and works driver Matt Campbell started directly from pole position and for a long time he kept the Absolute Racing Team's Porsche 911 GT3 R in the front group. Unfortunately, a puncture during the 117th lap threw Campbell back one lap. But thanks to an excellent pit stop strategy during a safety car phase, the team managed to close the gap again. A strong team performance put pressure on the competition, and they attempted everything to advance to 3rd place – unfortunately without any luck. The Porsche with drivers Matt Campbell, Mathieu Jaminet and Patrick Pilet finished the race in 4th place. After a total of 314 laps, the gap to a podium finish was only 1.5 seconds. The 2nd Porsche from Absolute Racing Team with the starting number 912 took 7th place. The Porsche Young Professional Thomas Preining took turns with works driver Dirk Werner and Matteo Cairoli.

The course of the race also made things difficult for the drivers of Earl Bamber Motorsport. Last year's winning team fought for the top positions from the very beginning of the race and sought to lay the foundations for defending their title early on. However, even they did not get through the unsteady race without technical problems. The works drivers Laurens Vanthoor, Earl Bamber and Craig Lowndes in the Porsche with the number 1 were literally slowed down: a time-consuming change of brake pads took away any chance of them winning again. Nevertheless, they never gave up and, in the end, they still made it into top 10: The team finished the race in 9th place, making Earl Bamber Motorsport's 911 GT3 R one of the four Porsche vehicles that made it amongst the 10 best in Australia.

Finally, the top 10 was completed by the Porsche from Team Grove Racing. Stephen Grove shared the vehicle with his son Brenton Grove and Ben Barker.

It was a difficult race for the Porsche teams. But despite all adversities the teams never gave up, fought their way through and could leave Bathurst with their heads held high. This will certainly not be their last visit.

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