We always look forward to heading up to Bathurst for the season's penultimate Carrera Cup round. It helps that we have been blessed with extraordinary success, winning at Bathurst five times in the last 8 years with 4 different drivers and taking second when we didn't get the win.
Unfortunately Luffy wasn't able to compete at Bathurst due to the demise of his major sponsor and Gilbo had to miss the weekend due to family commitments. Conversely, we were happy to welcome Pro-Am driver David Ryan back to the team to join Tim and Cooper.
Cooper did a terrific job to qualify 3rd in his first visit to Bathurst. In race 1 he got a great start but couldn’t get past the car ahead into turn 1. He had a battle with David Wall for second but had to settle for 3rd.
In race 2 he got another good start, then hounded Wall until he got through with an exceptional move into the last corner on lap 2. He then did a great job to successfully to defend the former champion till the finish.
In race 3 he got away well from the outside of the front row but couldn’t get ahead. He piled the pressure on Love in the middle of the race but after setting the fastest lap of the race, settled for an impressive 2nd on his Bathurst debut.
Tim qualified 4th in Pro-Am and started race 1 from grid 14. He had a good start and had a great dice with Grove and Lago until a safety car period where he got split from his competitors by a back marker Pro driver.
Tim's second race was similar to first, in that he didn’t get much wheel-to-wheel racing action, so he used the opportunity to hone his driving style which led to an impressive personal best time for 2:09.0, only 2.1 secs off the fastest Pro time.
For race 3 Tim was very keen to make some places on the opening lap. He had reasonable start but was unable to make the progress he was hoping for. He enjoyed a much busier race, chasing and dicing with Lago, Grove and Shahin to take his third 5th for the weekend.
David qualified in impressive 8th on his first visit to Bathurst in Carrera Cup. In race 1 he intentionally took it reasonably easy, learning the nuances of this daunting track and gaining valuable track time.
In race 2 he was in a far more feisty mood and had a terrific race with the Australia's most experienced Carrera Cup driver Cini, which included some light contact between the drivers on more than one occasion!
Race 3 was by far David's best race of the weekend. Not only did he exceed his lap time ambition of a 2:11 lap, he actually ended up with a best lap of 2:10.9 and finished over 10 seconds ahead of Taylor and Cini, his protagonists from the first two races.
We are rapt that our success at Bathurst continues. With Coopers super-impressive 2nd place on debut at Bathurst, he keeps our amazing eight year run of not finishing outside the top 2 intact. Although Tim took three 5th places for the weekend, he was over a second closer to the winning Pro pace than he was in 2018, which shows how much the pace in Pro-Am has lifted over the last 12 months. David made huge gains over the weekend and should be very proud of his progress.
As usual, many thanks to all the awesome MR crew and of course Luffy the super coach for tuning-up our drivers. We now look forward to the final round on the Gold Coast in two weeks.