Bathurst 12 Hour

2014 Bathurst 12 Hour race program

Bathurst 12 Hour trophy

A full race program including all support categories can be found on the Bathurst 12 Hour website, but here’s the key times for the main runners.

Aside from the race itself the key timeslot will be 2:20pm tomorrow where the Class A runners will be let off the leash for a frantic 15 minute qualifying session. For the first time the GT3 runners won’t be cobbled by a time ceiling, they’ll be going as fast as they dare with expectations a new course record could be set.

Friday 7 February

0745–0845: Practice 1 (Classes C, D, E, F & I)
0855–0955: Practice 2 (Classes A & B)
1305–1405: Practice 3 (All classes)
1615–1715: Practice 4 (All classes)

Saturday 8 February

0900–1000: Qualifying 1 (All classes)
1330–1410: Qualifying 2 (All classes)
1420–1435: Qualifying 3 (Class A only)

Sunday 9 February

0615–1815: 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour

[Pic: Race Torque Media]

Bathurst 12 Hour

2014 Bathurst 12 Hour live streaming guide

2013 Bathurst 12 Hour race start

Live coverage for the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour will be available throughout the weekend, culminating with SBS TV covering the final three hours of the race across the nation.

Live streaming and live audio (via Radio Le Mans) will do the bulk of the work prior to the race climax on televsion. If you can’t see the live stream here at AUSmotive then keep an eye on the official race website.

Lap times for practice, qualifying and the race can be monitored on the NatSoft website too, just select the Bathurst 12 Hour entry and follow the relevant links.

You can also keep up to date with on track and behind the scenes action by following the Bathurst 12 Hour on Facebook and twitter (use #B12hr hashtag).

[Pic: Race Torque Media]


Porsche 911 GT3: A feast for the senses?

991 Porsche 911 GT3

I’m not sure about anybody else reading this, but there’s nothing I’d love more than to have the ability to spec a 911 GT3 to my liking, place the order and wait with increasing anticipation for the day I was able to drive it off the showroom floor.

My own GT3. It would be a dream come true.

In this video Andreas Preuninger, Mr Porsche GT3, tells us a little about the development of the car. It’s a feast for the senses he reckons.

McLaren Motorsports

McLaren MP4-12C GT3 pricing announced

McLaren MP4-12C GT3

A few days ago McLaren GT had its official launch press conference. It’s the separate company set up by McLaren and CRS Racing Team for the development and running of the MP4-12C GT3 program.

They’ll be racing their own cars, of course, but if you’ve got nothing better to do with your Sunday afternoons in 2012 you too can race a 12C GT3. All you’ll need is £310,000 for the “race ready” car and a racing budget. Too easy!

For the 2012 season McLaren GT will have 20 cars ready to race, so if you get saving now you just might be in luck.

After the break you can see a nice selection of images of the McLaren MP4-12C GT3 in its stunning orange livery, along with some highlights from the press conference and more.

Mercedes-Benz Motorsports

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 photo gallery

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3

Good news for wannabe track day heroes, Mercedes-AMG GmbH are now taking orders for their SLS AMG GT3 racer. If you do want to kick sand in the faces of the Audi and Porsche kids you’ll need to cough up €334K plus taxes. That’s around half a million bucks in Aussie dollars. Deliveries are shceduled for February 2011.

As the model names suggests the SLS AMG GT3 is designed to meet regulations for FIA GT racing and we should see the Gullwing tearing up the track at the Nürburgring 24 hour race in 2011. Bravo!

Mercedes have been testing the car since June, with successful DTM star Bernd Schneider undertaking most of the test duties. The SLS AMG GT3 will make its racing debut in a VLN mini-enduro at the demanding Nürburgring Nordschleife in late September.

Peak power from the 6.3 litre V8 and final kerb weight will be confirmed by the FIA during the homolgation process in accordance with its “Balance of Performance” guidelines which are aimed at ensuring equality.

Uncle Norbert seems quite happy with his new toy, “This is an exciting and spectacular sports car for dedicated private teams and talented private drivers. AMG will work together with our tried-and-trusted sports and touring car partner HWA to put in place a motorsport customer department 
which will guarantee its motorsport customers hallmark Mercedes service.”

So far, it looks like demand will out strip supply in the early stages. So Norbert really is a happy chappy.

A big photo gallery (including more of that blinged up chrome SLS) and the full press release from Mercedes-Benz are all yours after the break.

Motorsports Porsche

Peak season

Pikes Peak Hill Climb - Jeff Zwart

You may be aware the annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was held last weekend. The outright winner was Nobuhiro Tajima in his Unlimited category Suzuki SX4. His time was 10:11.490; still noone has cracked the 10 minute barrier for the 20km course, which starts at 9,390 feet and ends at 14,110 feet.

Records were broken during last weekend’s action, though, and one of them was the qualifying time in the 2WD Time Attack class. It was set by Jeff Zwart in a Porsche 997 911 GT3 Cup car. Not happy with that, Zwart went on to knock a massive 38 seconds off the full race record for the class, as well.

The video of Zwart’s quali run is available after the break. It’s pure and has just the single camera angle from inside the cockpit. And while it might be missing the frantic beauty of the legendary Climb Dance, or even the cinematic heights of last year’s Peak Performance, it’s still a damn entertaining piece of footage. Turn your volume up to 11 and revel in the glorious noises from that Porsche drivetrain.

UPDATE: More info on Zwart’s record-breaking weekend can be read HERE.

[Thanks to Chris for the tip]


Audi R8 GT3 prototype spied

Audi R8 GT3 protoype

This flared and angry beast you see before you is understood to be an Audi R8 GT3 prototype. With matt black paint, and even wider sideblades this V10 powered coupé looks sensational.

Also of note on the bodywork is a revised front splitter with two small fins on either side to aid downforce. At the back you see a fixed rear wing, and some more aero work on the rear valance. Two enlarged round exhaust tips also let you know that this is no ordinary R8 V10, if there is such a thing.

Spotted on roads near the Nürburgring you can expect Audi to be dialling in lots of data learned from their 24 hour race debut last year where they almost took home the chocolates.

[Source: Autocar | Pic: CarPix]


BMW finally reveals official Z4 GT3 info


Official looking pics of the BMW Z4 GT3 emerged earlier this month, but until now no details had been released from BMW’s PR spin doctors. However, at the time those first pics appeared it turns out BMW was delivering the Z4 GT3 to customers.

There seems to have been method to BMW’s PR approach, maybe. Now, with customer experience to report on, BMW Motorsport boss Mario Theissen can say stuff like, “The feedback on the BMW Z4 GT3 is extremely positive.” Not real convincing is it. But there’s no reason it shouldn’t be, the Z4 GT3 looks like a right little monster.

As expected the Z4 GT3 car is powered by a 4.0 litre V8 sourced from the M3 GT2. It’s good for more than 480bhp. Other technologies and developments from the Gt2 have been adapted, as well. Things like engine management, ABS, traction control and the sequential shift transmission have all benefitted from previous race experience.

The use of carbon fibre reinforced plastic for the majority of body panels has helped keep weight down to 1200kg. For those not so quick with their sums, that gives the Z4 GT3 a power to weight ratio of around 400hp per ton. That should do.

You can have your very own Z4 GT3 for just €300K (AU$445K). Well, go on then, don’tlet me stop you.

Expect to see the latest BMW purpose-built racer in the FIA GT3 European Championship, the ADAC GT Masters and the International GT Open. Longer one-off 24 hour races such as Nürburgring, Spa and Dubai are also likely to feature the Z4 GT3. Until you see images and action from these events you might have to make do with the images available after the jump.

UPDATE: A brief video of the Z4 GT3 in action at the Nürburgring is available at AUSringers.

UPDATE 25 April: Pics from the Z4 GT3 in practice and racing in the VLN series have been added below.

Audi Motorsports

Audi updates R8 GT3 racer for 2010

2010 Audi R8 LMS 'Evolution'

Back in 2008 Audi launched the race-going R8 LMS. The car was prepped for the 2009 season ready to race in GT3 categories across the globe.

Indeed, the four-pronged R8 attack on the 2009 Nürburgring 24 hour race almost ended Porsche’s recent domination of the event. The #99 Phoenix Racing entry held the lead for 17 hours until a drive shaft problem cost valuable time. In the end it was the #97 Abt Sportline car that finished in second place, highlighting the impressive debut by the R8. As well as that, the R8 LMS went on to secure three championships and 23 race wins during 2009.

For the 2010 season Audi have made some changes to their go fast machines to ensure they remain capable of leading the field. The ‘Evolution’ updates include revisions to the chassis, suspension and cooling systems. While on-board electronics and the race-tuned exhaust system have been further enhanced.

Customer deliveries of the 2010 spec cars have started, with the US-British alliance of United Autosports being the first in line. If you would like to join them and you have a spare €300K+ burning a hole in your pocket, well, I’m sorry, but you’re out of luck. The 2010 production run has sold out and all customer cars will be delivered before the end of April. If you’re still keen you’ll need to try your luck with the ‘Race Experience’ program or get your name on the list for the 2011 production run.

Owners of 2009 spec R8 LMS cars are able to make the same changes to the 2010 models to ensure they can now race with the latest specification.

Australian race fans will get their chance to see the 2009-spec R8 LMS up close next weekend at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. Mark Eddy, 2008 Australian GT Champion, is the first private buyer outside of Europe to get his hands on the purpose-built GT3 racer. Find out more on the Australian GT website.

BMW Motorsports

BMW Z4 GT3 official images emerge


Some official images of the BMW Z4 GT3 racecar have emerged and it looks pretty damn impressive, don’t you think. Okay, in a road car sense it’s actually a bit naff with all those wings and diffusers at the back. But, in a purpose built track car sense, bring it on!

If you’re a real BMW anorak you will probably recall that BMW have said they would never fit a V8 engine to the current Z4. Well, they lied. To be fair, the Z4 GT3 will never see full series production, so raiding the parts bin to make a kick arse racing machine can be excused.

Anyway, that engine, yep, it’s pretty much the same 4.0 litre V8 found in the M3 GT2. That means power is around 485hp and peak torque should be nudging 500Nm. There’s also a race-toughened 6 speed sequential transmission to help move things along.

I get the feeling some very wealthy men around the world (and possibly women too) are going to get a little bit excited about driving this car. More details as they come to hand.

[Source: Car]

Audi Motorsports

Audi launches R8 LMS Race Experience

Audi R8 LMS

Audi have recently announced they will be offering cashed up wannabe racing drivers a seat in an R8 LMS. Two GT3 cars will be prepared by the Joest Racing Team, the guys responsible for six of Audi’s recent Le Mans victories.

Joest will be entering up to six VLN races at the Nürburgring this year, among other activities, and if you have the cash for this “Race Experience” you could find yourself in the hot seat.

“For the first time, the Audi race experience offers customers the opportunity to participate in a race with a professional Audi ‘factory’ team without having to enter into a long-term commitment or to make a high financial investment,” explains Klaus Demel, who is in charge of the Audi driving experience. “I’m very happy that we’ve been able to win Audi Sport and Reinhold Joest’s team as a partners for this project.”

Joest kicks off their VLN season on 24 April, so you’d better start saving your pennies!

Carmageddon Motorsports News Porsche

Australian Carrera Cup series fails to launch in 2009

Australian Carrera Cup series cancelled 2009

On Thursday it was announced the Australian 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup season would be cancelled due to a lack of cars to fill the grid.

Porsche Cars Australia managing director, Michael Winkler, said “to enter the season without a robust grid of cars is simply not viable for all the major stakeholders. Motorsport is an integral part of Porsche’s activities in Australia so this decision is not taken lightly.

“We have already spoken with the Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS) as the governing body of Australian motorsport and will proactively work with them to ensure existing owners of 997 GT3 Cup Cars are given the opportunity to race in other categories.”

There was an eight round program scheduled for 2009, with the first race planned for the Clipsal 500 later next month.

This news is a real sign of the global financial crisis biting hard at home. It will be interesting to see if those teams with financial backing are able to find alternate series to race in. It will also be interesting to see if the Carrera Cup will return in 2010, or indeed, at all in the near future.

Source: – image courtesy of (Thanks to Richard for the tip.)