Porsche has won the Bathurst 12 Hour (Australia) for the first time, and has added another chapter to the impressive success story of the Porsche 911 GT3 R in its final performance at a major endurance race. Works driver Dirk Werner (Germany) as well as the two Porsche Young Professionals Matt Campbell (Australia) and Dennis Olsen (Norway) brought the GT3 car fielded by EMB over the line in first place. The fledgling customer team managed by Porsche works driver Earl Bamber (New Zealand) triumphed at its maiden outing on an international stage in the fight against experienced teams from eight manufacturers.
“We only began putting the team together at the beginning of December,” commented Earl Bamber. “Since then we’ve invested a huge amount of work into this project – not just me, but my brother Will and many other supporters, as well. Our goal was to be able to offer the drivers two equal cars at the very highest level. We succeeded.
“The No. 911 led over long stretches but then fell back. But we had a second iron in the fire. The No. 912 stepped up to the mark. What Matt achieved in his last stint is film worthy. The fact that we now send this car into the Museum with a victory makes it all the more emotional. I’m completely over the moon.”
In a breathtaking finale on the Mount Panorama Circuit, local hero Campbell ultimately beat his top-league rivals, to the great delight of his fellow compatriots in the grandstands. In the final 20 minutes of the 12-hour endurance race, the Porsche Young Professional picked off three vehicles one after the other and with perfectly-executed manoeuvres swept into the lead with the No. 912 Porsche 911 GT3 R. His teammates, Werner and Olsen, drove strong stints and his EMB team worked flawlessly with a perfect strategy to lay the foundation for this victory.
Lady Luck, however, was not shining on their team colleagues Romain Dumas (France), Sven Müller (Germany) and Mathieu Jaminet (France). From the half-way point of the race, the driver trio in the Porsche 911 GT3 R swapped the lead with the sister vehicle over long stretches, however the No. 911 car did not see the finish. With three hours left to go, a problem with the power steering hampered the charge of the fast and consistent GT3 vehicle and forced it into the pits.
The Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by the customer team Competition Motorsport/McElrea Racing retired after an accident of David Calvert-Jones (USA) early on in the race. Jaxon Evans gave an impressive performance at his maiden outing as a Porsche Junior. The New Zealand shared the No. 12 vehicle with works driver Kévin Estre (France) and Calvert-Jones. The identical GT3 car of the Black Swan Racing squad could not contest the race due to an accident during practice.
For the opening round of the 2019 Intercontinental GT Challenge 2019, the 2018-spec version of the ca. 500 hp GT3 car was campaigned for the final time, as stipulated by the rules. Included on the Weissach racing car’s extensive list of successes is an overall victory at the Nürburgring 24-hour race as well as titles in the ADAC GT Masters and the North American Pirelli World Challenge. From the second race of the season in Laguna Seca (USA), customer teams will again race the new version of the vehicle, which celebrated its race debut last weekend at Daytona (USA). The new Porsche 911 GT3 R features numerous improvements in terms of driveability, aerodynamics and kinematics.
In the Class B of the 12-hour race in Australia, the customer team Grove Racing scored a comfortable lights-to-flag victory. Ben Barker (Great Britain) and the father-son team Stephen and Brenton Grove (Australia) secured first place with the No. 4 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup ahead of the same model vehicle run by the Carrera Cup Asia squad.
1. Werner/Olsen/Campbell, Porsche 911 GT3 R #912, 312 laps
2. Dennis/Vaxiviere/Kirchhöfer, Aston Martin #62, 312 laps
3. Buhk/Marciello/Götz, Mercedes #999, 312 laps
16. Grove/Grove/Barker, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup #4, 299 laps
19. Tresidder/v.d. Drift/ Bao/Hamprecht, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup #23, 279 laps
DNF Dumas/Müller/Jaminet, Porsche 911 GT3 R #911, 234 laps
DNF Studderd/Fillmore/Muscat, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup #43, 134 laps
DNF Estre/Evans/Calvert-Jones, Porsche 911 GT3 R #12, 37 laps