International Motorsport (New Zealand) has confirmed its long awaited return to Mount Panorama in 2016, this week confirming its entry to the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour endurance race.
Founded by Lyall Williamson alongside Formula One champion Denny Hulme in the early 1960s, International Motorsport has become one of the longest running and most successful teams in professional New Zealand motor racing.
Traditionally known for their dominance in New Zealand with Porsche, International Motorsport introduced two of the Audi R8 GT3’s to their endurance campaign earlier this year, and have enjoyed success with the Audi’s performance and suitability to New Zealand tracks.
The Bolt Masters Audi R8 GT3 LMS Ultra (campaigned in New Zealand as the Steel Masters Audi R8) will leaves this month for Bathurst after a successful lengthy testing session at Taupo Motorsport Park in December.
“We are elated to be returning to Bathurst” says Team Principle and Kiwi Motorsport heavy weight Lyall Williamson. “It’s been a long time in the making, we’ve got fond memories of competing at Mount Panorama in years gone by especially winning the Bathurst 1000 in 1997 and the Audi R8’s are a magnificent platform to be returning to Australia with.”
The International Motorsport 12 hour drive will be shared between Andrew Bagnall 2014 SIRDEC Endurance Champion, experienced New Zealand endurance driver Rick Armstrong and New Zealand-born Motorsport professional, Matt Halliday who flies into Australia.
Experienced at Bathurst with over 10 campaigns at Mt Panorama, American based Halliday favours ‘The Mountain’ as one of the world’s great circuits and the Bathurst 12 hour event as one of the one best GT races of the year.
Alongside the International Motorsport team Halliday brings a wealth experience to the table in the proven Audi R8 GT3 package.
“I am really excited to be joining old friends at International Motorsport on one of my favourite tracks, in a car I know inside-and-out. It’s great to be flying the Kiwi flag again at Bathurst” Says Halliday.
Entered in the Class-A (professional) category for 2016’s race, Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour will see a strong field of 39 +cars including GT3 manufacturers such as Audi, Ferrari, Mercedes, Lamborghini, Porsche, Nissan, Bentley and Aston Martin.
Practice and qualifying will take place over Friday 5 February and Saturday 6 February 2016 with the race due to start at 5:50am Sunday 7 February (7:30am NZ time).
The race will be televised live on Australia’s free-to-air Seven Network in 2016 following the success of its massive global audience in 2015.