The Bathurst 12 hour is gaining pace year on year as a highlight of the motorsport calendar here in Australia. Just a couple of years ago our elite drivers were unable to race there due to a conflict with Supercars, but now that the events are being managed by the same company things are really hotting up.
Adding fuel to the excitement is today’s news that Mark Skaife, Russell Ingall and Tony Longhurst will join forces in a BMW M6 GT3 for the 2017 Bathurst 12 hour with the support of Castrol and Vodafone.
It’s Vodafone’s first big support of Motorsport in Australia since withdrawing from the Triple Eight at the end of the 2012 V8 Supercar season.
With ten Bathurst wins between the three drivers it’s a formidable team in one hell of a car.
The brand-new BMW M6 GT3 will be part of a two-car BME Team SRM in a big return to the mountain for BMW also.
Tony Longhurst is no stranger to BMW, having raced in the iconic B&H Yellow BMW in the Shell Australian Touring Car Championship in the late 80’s and early 90’s, winning the championship in 1994 in a 318i. Longhurst has raced a few V8 Ute events in recent years but otherwise hasn’t been seen in the big-time for a while.
Ingall however is still very active in racing, competing last weekend as a co-driver in the Bathurst 1000, while Skaife hasn’t hit the mountain in five years.
The team will complete a comprehensive preparation program between now and the 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour on February 5 next year.