Title Tightens as GT Championship Heads to The Mountain
After a dominant performance at Phillip Island, Mark Eddy and his Penfold Audi Sport R8 LMS head to round six of the Vodka O Australian GT Championship at Mount Panorama, Bathurst, holding a slender 18 point lead in the Championship.
Having competed in an Audi R8 at the Armor All Bathurst 12 Hour for the crack Joest Factory Audi squad earlier in year, Eddie said he feels confident heading to Bathurst and is hoping to continue his good form from Phillip Island.
"The result at Phillip Island was simply amazing and gave us a real lift heading into the final two rounds of the Championship," he said.
"We certainly expected to be competitive, but to walk away with the round win, the CAMS Tourist Trophy, and the Championship lead was just a dream, although I'm not sure Bathurst will be as easy."
"Last year both Tony and Klark Quinn were really fast in their V.I.P. Aston Martin and Mosler, so any success will be really hard fought, but I reckon the team are up to it."
Chasing the Audi all the way next weekend will be the Mosler MT900 GT3 of Klark Quinn and the Dodge Viper GT3 of veteran Tasmanian racer Greg Crick who has been steadily building his Championship and currently sits in second place.
"2011 has been a really good year for the JEEP Dodge Viper and I think we are in a really good position to capitalise on any opportunity that comes our way," he said.
"I've done plenty of laps around Bathurst, and it's a place we all like competing at, so I can't wait to get there next week."
In the GT Challenge Class, Peter Boylan has an almost unassailable lead with just two rounds remaining, and currently sits 113 points ahead of Tim Poultons Bundaberg Rum Lotus Exige.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed racing in the GT Challenge Class this year, and to now be in a position to take the title is very exciting," he said.
"My Porsche 997 Cup Car has been so consistent and reliable all year, and I hope the Bathurst round will be no different."
Tim Poulton, who has suffered a horror 2011 said he was looking forward to a trouble free round at Mount Panorama.
"We got hit in Townsville, and then had two engine failures at Phillip Island recently so I think we are due some luck," he said.
"Pete has driven well all year, but I would love to get one up on him, especially at a place like Bathurst, so we will keep everything crossed for a great weekend."
Next weekend's Bathurst round will also be the Mountain debut of the Team Erebus Racing Mercedes Benz SLS AMG with Peter "Hollywood" Hackett aboard.
"Team Erebus has been waiting for a long time to get this car to Bathurst," said Hackett.
"We are not in the hunt for the Championship this year, however we will still be pushing pretty hard because we want to know what the car is capable ahead of the Armor All Bathurst 12 hour."
New Category administrator Craig Nayda has announced that the GT Championship will be holding a press conference at 4.45pm on Friday 7th of October at Bathurst.
"We will be announcing to the press our proposed calendar for the 2012 season, plus give everyone a stronger indication of what rules and regs we will be following into the 2012 season and beyond.
"We want all of our current competitors and potential competitors to have the best possible chance to get whatever car they feel will provide them the best opportunity to win the GT Championship, so to do that, they need to make those decisions now."
As expected, the Challenge Class has received a boost, with entries from Nathan Tinkler, Andrew McPherson and the once a year GT warrior Paul Tressider driving his 997 GT3 Gup Car entering, while Mark O'Connor returns in his Lotus Exige S after suffering an accident at round two of the Championship at Winton Raceway.
The Vodka O Australian GT Championship hits the famed Mount Panorama Circuit next Thursday, kicking off the weekend's proceedings with a 30 minute practise session, followed by another practise session later in morning, qualifying will take place on Friday, then 2 x30 minutes races on Saturday.
The Vodka O Australian GT Championship is a National motor racing series pitting some of the world's most exotic and exciting race cars against each other in a mix of sprint and endurance race formats on some of Australia's most challenging circuits including Mt Panorama Bathurst, the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit and the Adelaide Parklands street circuit for the Clipsal 500