The Supercheap Auto Bathurst International has been officially launched at Mount Panorama today, with drivers representing seven different nations and a variety of globally significant race cars gracing the famous Pit Straight.
Drivers with national origins including Australia, New Zealand, the United States of America, France, Malaysia, Italy and Germany draped in their national flags came to together to celebrate the start of the inaugural event.
National pride will be on the line as they represent their respective home countries, with friends, family and supporters set to tune in to support their heroes from home.
While the drivers from around the world have come together to celebrate, experience and enjoy motorsport at Australia’s greatest race track, the variety of global cars that they will race are even more diverse and represent the world of motorsport in one place.
A total of 29 different brands of race cars will hit the track, representing 11 different countries to have produced the motoring mecca that will roar around the 6.213km track this weekend.
Germany was represented by the Mercedes AMG GT3 of Triple Eight Race Engineering / Johor Motorsport and a Team Porsche New Zealand Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car – two of the countries most iconic manufacturers.
That pair feature local operations working with international teams, Triple Eight in conjunction with Johor Motor Racing, and the Porsche squad headed up by the Kiwi-flagged Earl Bamber Motorsport and operating as the national team in one-make Porsche racing.
A Japanese built Honda Civic Type R flew the flag for the Asian nation, while the stunning Praga R1 Sports Car was also on show, hailing from the small racing car constructor based in the Czech Republic.
The US-built Chevrolet Camaro Trans-Am represented the powerful and iconic American Muscle Cars while a French-built Peugeot TCR car added to the European flavour.
Australia was represented by one of the most famous cars ever made locally, in the form of the iconic Ford Falcon XY GTHO driven by Touring Car Masters ace, Brad Tilley.
Track action starts tomorrow ahead of two days of flat-out racing, including the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS, featuring the might of Mercedes AMG, Audi and Lamborghini battling in a three-hour endurance race.
Prince Jefri Ibrahim –Malaysian GT driver
“It is really awesome to be back here at Mt Panorama,” said Prince Jefri Ibrahim.
“The last time I raced here was in the 12 Hour and to be back in Bathurst is just a different feeling every time you are here. It is such an awesome track, full of history and cool cars running around, so I really can’t wait for the event.
“With the GT Endurance championship, first of all, I have to just try to win the race. If we do that, then it is a bonus. I am not too focused on the championship, I want just have a good race, try to be fast out there and hopefully do the best I can.
“Yes I think it is crucial to get as many laps as I can before the next 12 Hour. Bathurst especially as it is only available to us a few times of the year. So this weekend will be good prep for next year. I am trying to make the most out it and learn as much as I can … and hopefully improve.”