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HomeNewsBathurstAudi squad opts for proven Bathurst 12 Hour ploy

Audi squad opts for proven Bathurst 12 Hour ploy

MELBOURNE Performance Centre has taken a leaf out of the book of 2023 Bathurst 12 Hour winners SunEnergy1 Racing.

All three of the Audi squad’s cars will have Pro-Am driver line-ups, but two will be entered in the Pro class.

That mimics the ploy of SunEnergy1 Racing, which last year won outright with amateur driver/owner Kenny Habul partnering international stars Jules Gounon and Luca Stolz.

That trio are returning, but they’re not going to be catching their competition off-guard this time.

By entering in the Pro class, the minimum driver time requirement is removed for the bronze/amateur component of the roster, a rule which remains in effect in the Pro-Am class.

Accordingly, MPC will field Brad Schumacher with Switzerland’s Ricardo Feller and Formula 1 one-hit wonder Markus Winkelhock in its #2 KFC/Jamec Racing entry; and Liam Talbot alongside Kelvin van der Linde and Christopher Haase in the Wash It/Jamec Racing #22.

Rounding out the team is the Pro-Am Audi of Lee Holdsworth, Dean Fiore and Marc Cini.

“After a few years of challenges and bad luck, we’ve taken a different approach this year but it’s one we think that can pay off,” said MPC boss Troy Russell.

“Pairing extremely experienced drivers like Brad and Liam with the Pros we have access to, all who have been here before and all who are extremely quick at Mount Panorama, we think is the way to go.

“The regulations allow those combinations to be competitive which gives guys like Liam and Brad a chance at winning Bathurst outright.

“We’re thrilled with those combinations in the pair of Jamec Racing entries, with KFC and Wash It onboard as major partners.

The #2 KFC Audi of Brad Schumacher, Ricardo Feller and Markus Winkelhock. Pic: Supplied

“The Hallmarc car, with Marc, Lee and Dean, is such a solid combination. The Pro-Am competition is as tough as ever this year but at the same time we think they’re a good shot at challenging there.

“The Audi R8’s still have plenty to give and we showed that by winning the GT World Challenge Australia championship last year.”

That GT World Challenge Australia title was delivered by Talbot, who is looking to keep his form rolling.

“Momentum is everything in Motorsport and after coming off potentially my best year of racing, I’m ready for the huge challenge of attempting the 12 Hour and going for an outright win,” he said.

“It’s an amazing line up of co-drivers and of course an absolutely stellar team as well.

“I’m super excited to race the Wash It/Jamec Racing Audi with Chris Haase and Kelvin van der Linde along with the incredible support of MPC.

“I’ve had a great time at Bathurst recently in GT World Challenge and Carrera Cup so I can’t wait to go back.”

The 2024 Repco Bathurst 12 Hour will be held across February 16-18.

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