Bathurst 12 Hour Sees Maiden McLaren Victory

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Australia’s prime racing circuit hosted an absolute thriller over the weekend which saw Tekno McLaren take the title, despite harsh competition from defending champions Nissan and a few issues faced along the half-day event. The driver team of Shane Van Gisbergen, Alvaro Parente and Jonathon Webb faced a car break-down and drive-through penalty, which threatened their chances of domination by pushing them down to 3rd in the closing stages of the endurance race.

However, the team were tenacious in their efforts throughout the race and got their reward when an aptly timed safety car eliminated a 1:40 gap to the cars in front. From there, Tekno seized the moment and used a welcome fuel stop to push their car to glory, McLaren’s first major coup since winning the Le Mans 24 Hour in the mid-90s.

Outside of the winner’s circle, the chimes of a missed opportunity will ring clear in the ears of Tekno’s competitors. Nissan – with 2015’s winners sharing driving duties with Rick Kelly – were let down by a poor qualifying performance, while Bentley lead the race on multiple occasions but fell flat to tyre problems and suspension failures. Regardless of these unfortunate events it would be unfitting to suggest Tekno did not deserve the victory, as they had the fastest car and overcame their issues…both self-inflicted and coincidental.

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Mid-pack drama was rife, perhaps most disappointingly the performance of the Mercedes cars is that which should be quickly forgotten, forfeiting any sort of impact on standings in lieu of broken passenger doors, tyre worries and a broken pit boom. The SLS was completely over-shadowed by competing cars in its class but it should be a lesson learned for Erebus Motorsport that speed is nothing without reliability in this game.

In the other classes participating Class B was won by Scott McLaughlin, Earl Bamber and Stephen Grove in their impressive Grove Motorsport #4 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup Car, placing 12th overall. Class I was taken by Jake Camilleri, Aaron Seton and Morgan Haber in their #93 MARC Cars Ford Focus – piloting it to a respectable 13th overall.

If you watched the race, why not share your thoughts below? Which driver/team really caught your eye? Join in the discussion in our GT Racing thread.

This would also be a fitting time to remind the community of our very own 3rd Annual GTPlanet Bathurst 12 Hour endurance race, part of the GTPlanet Sportscar Series.

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The event, which kicks off with qualifying on 13/02, will see Team Redline GT make their official debut in what poses to be a fantastic race. Featuring Touring and GT3 series vehicles, the event will be streamed live with full commentary. So, why not get involved? If the real deal was anything to go by, this promises some exciting racing.

Images provided by the official Bathurst 12HR Enduro website.

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Comments (8)

  1. CarreraGT

    Awesome car, awesome driver, awesome race. So happy to see this event finally getting the attention it deserves!

  2. Punknoodle

    SVG and Jono Webb make a great Pro/Am combination. The speed of that car was insane all weekend, getting into the 2.01s during qual let alone during the race is unbelievable. Enjoyed watching it, pity about Ferrari’s weekend too, not a good way to send off the 458.

    And no one stood a chance in Group B against the Grove Porsche and it’s 2 pro drivers.

  3. mattmflok

    Looks like Erebus will need to call in the new AMG GT to have adequate firepower to bring it to Audi, let alone Bentley, Nissan or McLaren

    SVG and the Tekno team did a brilliant job, but drive of the day IMO would go to Katsumasa Chiyo in the dying minutes

    1. Punknoodle

      He never stood a chance, SVG was coasting. If he ever thought he was a threat he would have just put the hammer down again.

    2. Daverytimes

      Am pretty sure chiyo stood all the chance in the world, the GTR was making up a few seconds as far as 3 laps back. The mclaren only coasted the last lap, it might have had pace but it wasn’t running on fairy dust. Am plenty sure the car was getting slower towards the end, tire wear probably being the biggest factor. I mean place credit where its due, the GTR had its fastest lap of the whole race towards the last few laps, that was an insane chase by chiyo.

    3. Punknoodle

      I’m not saying he didn’t put a good effort in and put in some great laps, but he still didn’t have a chance. The gap was too big and mathmatically he couldn’t have done it even at the pace SVG had unless SVG made a mistake. As it was SVG was taking it pretty casual the last few laps. He could have squeezed more if he needed to at the end. I feel like the commentators were building up nothing to build up suspense. It was nothing like last years finish. Still, after 12 hours having a few cars on the lead lap is still pretty close.

    4. zdenko

      I’m with Punknoodle on this, too much media hype which just encourages the Naive to believe the dribble they speak.
      If you watched the commentary at the end Shane pretty much wiped away the media hype when questioned about the “threat” of the GTR and said he was just cruising at the end. No threat at all. Which is exactly how I saw it as well.
      I guess that’s part of Shanes issues with various motorsport king pins as well, he doesn’t exactly play the media game. This is why I like him.
      If anything Chiyo was putting the GTR at risk of losing 2nd place chasing a near impossible 1st place in the dying laps.

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