Bostik Audi R8 GT3 driver Tony Bates is satisfied with his team’s preparation for tomorrow’s Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, and is predicting a high attrition rate after an incident-packed day of qualifying at Mount Panorama.
Bates, along with Geoff Emery, Max Twigg and Dylan O’Keeffe will start tomorrow’s race from sixth in the Silver Cup Class and 29th outright, Bates praising O’Keeffe’s performance in the final qualifying session.
“Dylan did a great job, considering he wasn’t given many laps in practice,” Bates said.
“He recorded our car’s best time of the weekend, but we’re well aware we have a 12-hour race tomorrow and qualifying is not super critical.”
With several victims already claimed by the Mountain over the last two days, Bates said a sensible approach in tomorrow’s race will pay dividends.
“This is the best GT field we’ve ever had at Bathurst, and we’ve already seen how hard people are pushing the limits this weekend.
“Today demonstrated just how brutally this place can punish you when you get it wrong, and our approach tomorrow will be to minimise risk – we know that we don’t necessarily have the fastest driver combination, but we have drivers who are sensible, experienced and can stay out of trouble.”
O’Keeffe, who will start tomorrow’s race, said he was happy with the Bostik Audi R8’s balance.
“I didn’t take long to feel comfortable in the car and start punching out some fast times, but I was also conscious of not taking any risks,” O’Keeffe said.
“The most important thing is understanding how hard I can push tomorrow, if it comes down to a sprint to the finish in the final stint.”
Twigg said the Audi R8 will be a strong long-distance package.
“I did some more laps today, and most importantly the car was predictable and easy to drive across the top of the Mountain,” he said.
“For a long-distance race, that’s what you need – you don’t want a car that’s twitchy because it can catch you out.”
The 2020 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour commences at 5:45am – the entire race will be shown live on 7Mate and Fox Sports 506, with coverage commencing at 5:30.