Bathurst. The BMW M6 GT3 teams produced an impressive performance in the 12-hour race at the iconic “Mount Panorama Circuit” in Bathurst (AUS), but their efforts went unrewarded.
BMW Team SRM, with BMW DTM drivers Timo Glock (GER) and Philipp Eng (AUT) sharing the cockpit of the number 100 BMW M6 GT3 with team principal Steve Richards (NZL), eventually finished ninth. The number 43 BMW M6 GT3, run by BMW Team Schnitzer and driven by BMW DTM drivers Marco Wittmann (GER) and Augusto Farfus (BRA), together with Chaz Mostert (AUS), was forced to retire following a collision whilst challenging for a spot on the podium. The race was brought to a close 12 minutes ahead of schedule, due to a big crash.
The 12-hour classic got off to a brilliant start: Mostert started from pole position in the number 43 BMW M6 GT3 and began to open up a lead at the front of the field. A host of safety car periods then meant that he and his team-mates were unable to take advantage of the morning’s good conditions for the BMW M6 GT3. As the race progressed, the trio dropped back through the field, however, they did manage to regain some positions in the closing stages, and set their sights on the podium again. Then, after nine and a half hours, came the retirement for Mostert, Wittmann and Farfus. Running fourth at the time, Mostert, embroiled in a battle for position with several other cars, was involved in a collision. While he was able to return to the pits, the car was too seriously damaged to continue.
The trio in the BMW Team SRM car produced an impressive fightback in the race. A disqualification meant that the number 100 BMW M6 GT3 had to start from 49th and last place on Saturday. Despite that, Glock, Richards and Eng soon worked their way into the leading group. A brake issue then cost the trio time in the closing stages, and they eventually came home ninth.
Source and photos: BMW Motorsport