FORMER V8 Supercar racer and now karting business owner Michael Patrizi has a very special race car within his family’s collection.
That car is the 2016 Bathurst 12 Hour-winning McLaren 650S (chassis number 17), a vehicle that not only started from pole position and won that year’s race, but also retains the 12 Hour qualifying lap record.
The McLaren won the 2016 12 Hour in the hands of Shane van Gisbergen, Jonathon Webb and Alvaro Parente. van Gisbergen put the car on pole with a stunning 2m01.286s lap and the trio led 102 of the 297 laps on their way to victory.
The twin-turbo, 3.8-litre V8-powered GT3-specification racer currently sits on display at the National Motor Racing Museum at Mount Panorama, Bathurst.
It’s featured in the new book, ‘Bathurst: Going Global’, documenting the last 10 years of the Bathurst 12 Hour since GT cars were admitted to the race.
The 320-page publication, available to order online here, features a photo of every car from each year’s race as well as race reviews, statistics and full results from each race.
As Patrizi told v8sleuth.com.au, the pathway to him acquiring the car was an interesting one.
“I bought a Porsche as a business back in the day and ran it through McElrea Racing and we kept the car and leased it out to racing teams when I went back to racing Supercars (in 2012 with TEKNO).
“Then I found myself in the same position I had before of being out of a V8 drive, so I sold the Porsche, bought the new model Carrera Cup car and went and raced it for 12 months and then leased it out for a further four years and then sold it. It was a very good business model and it worked well.
“The McLaren is a car with lots of history and I was in the right place at the right time. I was never looking to go down this path but using some contacts overseas I knew some of the drivers that had driven this car before, and it was clear it was something special.
“It’s the only McLaren factory car of the 650S GT3, all other cars were run as a satellite operation. It’s a special vehicle for sure. I got offered a deal, which I took, and I rented it back into Australia again to TEKNO.”
In addition to its overseas victories and 2016 Bathurst 12 Hour success, the car finished runner-up in the 2016 Australian GT Championship in the hands of Nathan Morcom, below left. It was also competed in the Highlands 101 in New Zealand with Matt Kingsley and Côme Ledogar but crashed out when it hit the wall at the bridge cross over.
It returned to compete in the Bathurst 12 Hour in the hands of Will Davison, Jonny Kane and Ben Barnicoat in 2017, below right, though Barnicoat crashed it during qualifying and it was unable to start the race as a result.
“It hasn’t turned a lap since and has been completely rebuilt – the engine, gearbox, rear end, the whole lot,” says Patrizi.
“The work was done by TEKNO on the Gold Coast through McLaren with their support. Before it went back to the Museum, I had the original 12 Hour livery put back onto the car.
“It’s such an incredible piece of motorsport history. By its results, it’s the most successful GT3 car that McLaren has built.
“I’ve never driven it. Yes I would love to but, by the same token, it’s a pretty nice piece for Bathurst to have in the Museum, a reminder of the day an Australian team beat the internationals at Bathurst.
“I’ve had interest from the US for the car from other collectors and McLaren actually wanted to take it back for their museum a couple of years ago, but it’s going nowhere. It’s very unique and I’m proud to have our family name attached to it.”
Patrizi made 45 Supercars Championship round starts between 2008 and 2012, driving full-time in 2008 for Ford Rising Stars Racing, in 2009 for Paul Cruickshank Racing and in 2012 for TEKNO Autosports.
He also co-drove with Dean Fiore’s Triple F Racing operation in the 2011 and 2012 endurance races.
Thesedays he runs Patrizicorse, Australia’s largest import and distribution business supplying world known brands such as Alpinestars, Bridgestone, Birel ART manufactured products including Ricciardo Kart to the Australian and Asia Pacific region.