SLS AMG GT3 Delivers Heart Stopping Race in Bathurst
After 296 laps and 12-hours of racing, only .41 seconds separated Ferrari’s first place and Mercedes’ second place
by John Clark | 10 February 2014
The AMG Customer Teams managed impressive finishes at this year’s Bathurst 12 Hour Race. The SLS AMG GT3 of HTP Motorsport with start number 84 finished the race with Maximilian Buhk in second place, a mere 0.4138 seconds behind the winning Ferrari after 296 laps. The SLS AMG GT3 team with Start number 63 of Erebus Motorsport ended the race in the third position. The sister car with start number 1 of last year’s winner Bernd Schneider came home seventh.
The runner-up race gullwing of HTP Motorsport was driven by Maximilian Buhk, Thomas Jäger (both GER) and Harold Primat (FRA). After a training accident on Friday, the team of HTP Motorsport succeeded in fixing up the vehicle again over night. Start number 84 started from position eleven on the grid and managed to reach the second position but subsequently was slowed down by a technical problem. The gap again was overcome by constantly fast lap times. Eventually, Maximilian Buhk reached the leading group and managed to conquer the top in the last third of the race. An hour prior to the end of the race, the SLS AMG GT3 lost its leading position, because a change of the front brake pads became necessary in the last pit stop.
Start number 63 of Erebus Motorsport, piloted by Will Davison, Jack LeBrocq and Greg Crick (all AUS), started from the third position on the grid. An encounter with a kangaroo on the race track forced the race gullwing to make a pit stop. The mechanics successfully carried out the necessary provisional reparation of the front section, but subsequently, the drivers had to struggle with aerodynamic problems. The sister car with start number 1 and the German driver trio Bernd Schneider, Maro Engel and Nico Bastian at the wheel started the race from the pole position, after Maro Engel was able to score a new track record for closed race vehicles in the qualifying. The SLS AMG GT3 confidently took the lead in the race for a long time. However, it lost precious time after a technical problem and fell behind.
This year’s Bathurst 12 Hours on the 6.213 kilometres long Mount Panorama Circuit was characterised by numerous safety car phases, commanding position fights and many changes of the leading position.
Thomas Jäger: “It was an unbelievable race for us. No one in the HTP Motorsport team would have expected that we could still win a podium position after the training accident. We would have liked to end the race winning the first position, but the Ferrari was just somewhat faster towards the end. Thanks to everybody in the team for the extremely strong performance during the entire weekend.”
Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: “Another pleasing result after the promising start of the season in Dubai. Congratulations to the customer teams HTP Motorsport and Erebus Motorsport for their strong performance in Bathurst.”
Jochen Bitzer, head of AMG Customer Sports: “It was a truly thrilling race with commanding motorsports on Mount Panorama. Having two SLS AMG GT3 on the podium and each of the three participating SLS AMG GT3 in the top ten is, all in all, an excellent result. The victory was within reach but unfortunately, in the end, a gap of 0.4138 seconds separated us from the first position. I want to thank the AMG customer teams of HTP Motorsport and Erebus Motorsport and all drivers. Congratulations to the team of Maranello Motorsport for today’s victory in the race.”
An overview of the results of the race*:
|1.||88||Ferrari 458 Italia/Maranello Motorsport||Mika Salo, Peter Edwards, John Bowe, Craig Lowndes||296|
|2.||84||Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3/HTP Motorsport||Maximilian Buhk, Thomas Jäger, Harold Primat||296|
|3.||63||Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3/Erebus Motorsport||Will Davison, Jack LeBrocq und Greg Crick||296|
|Tony Quinn, Klark Quinn, Andrew Kirkaldy, Shane van Gisbergen||296|
|5.||3||Audi R8 LMS Ultra/Phoenix Racing||Rahel Frey, René Rast, Laurens Vanthoor||296|
|6.||25||Audi R8 LMS Ultra/United Autosports||Mark Patterson, Eric Lux, Markus Winkelhock||294|
|7.||1||Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3/Erebus Motorsport||Bernd Schneider, Maro Engel, Nico Bastian||291|
|8.||4||Porsche 997 GT3 CUP/Grove Motorsport Pty Ltd||Stephen Grove, Earl Bamber, Ben Barker||286|
|9.||12||Porsche 997 GT3 CUP/McElrea Racing||David Calvert-Jones, Alex Davison, Patrick Long||284|
|10.||9||Audi R8 LMS Ultra/Marc Cini||Marc Cini, Mark Eddy, Christopher Mies||278|