Absolute Racing close to the podium in debut race at Bathurst
– First-ever Pole-Position for Porsche in the race
– Two punctures ruined a podium result for the #911
– No risk strategy paid off for the #912
Absolute Racing rounded out a strong debut on the Mount Panorama Circuit with a well-fought battle in the Bathurst 12 Hour race to finish in fourth and seventh place at the opening round of this year’s Intercontinental GT Challenge.
On the 6.213-kilometer racetrack in the state of New South Wales, #911 Absolute Racing Porsche 911 GT3-R entry made it into the decisive Top-10 pole shootout. Porsche works driver Matt Campbell kept his cool in temperatures of 39 degrees Celsius and turned the fastest lap of the day in qualifying for the big race, thus handing Porsche its first pole position at the Mount Panorama Circuit. The 24-year-old local ace shared his GT3 car with his two French works driver teammates Mathieu Jaminet and Patrick Pilet.
In the #912 Absolute Racing Porsche 911 GT3-R entry Matteo Cairoli narrowly missed out on taking part in the pole shootout by a mere 0.238 seconds. The Italian newcomer, who teamed up with Dirk Werner and Porsche Young Professional Thomas Preining, planted the green and black Porsche 911 GT3 R on twelfth.
The famous Australian race started with much promise for the Absolute Racing team, however, Lady Luck did not shine in the end. A tire puncture in lap 117 relegated the #911 entry down a lap. Thanks to a clever pit stop strategy, the team was able to make up lost ground during a safety car phase. A second puncture and a 15-second pit lane infraction took away the chances of a much-deserved podium position. In the end, the gap to the podium was just 1.529 seconds after 314 laps for the pole-sitting Porsche.
The many safety car phases turned the long-distance classic on the Mount Panorama Circuit into a turbulent race, with the interruptions causing the field to bunch up several times. The second vehicle run by Absolute Racing took the chequered flag in seventh. The #912 entry climbed places one after another over the twelve-hour race, joining the leading group for the last two hours. A trouble-free race allowed the trio to place their car as the last on the lead lap.
Fabien Fior (Team Director): “We knew from the beginning that we would have a challenging weekend ahead as it was our first at Bathurst, but the team did not disappoint. Drivers did a great job and the cars performed flawlessly. We are proud to have achieved the first-ever pole-position for Porsche car in the race and we battled hard for a podium result. We learned a lot this weekend and we will take these lessons learned and grow from it.”
Mathieu Jaminet (#911 Porsche 911 GT3 R): “All things considered, it was a tough race for us. We had two punctures that threw us back. We lost a lap but we battled hard to get back up into the action. Towards the end, we hoped for the predicted rain, but unfortunately, it arrived only after the chequered flag came out.”
Dirk Werner (#912 Porsche 911 GT3 R): “Starting in the night at Bathurst is something special. However, starting from twelfth on the grid surrounded by so many vehicles makes it difficult to gain any positions at the start. We managed to work our way up the field and were in the top group for the last two hours. At the end we hoped for rain, perhaps then we might have achieved an even better result.”
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