McLaren Scores Podium and Class Victory at Bathurst 12 Hour
McLaren secured a historic victory at the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour after capturing both a second place overall finish and class win with their pair of entries in the 2020 edition of Australia’s premier international endurance race.
Competing against over 30 other cars from all of the prestigious names in GT3 racing at the famed Mount Panorama circuit, the pair of McLarens— one racing in the Pro class and the other in the Silver class— outlasted the sweltering heat trackside and both came home in trophy-winning positions after 12 hours, covering a record-breaking 1,950 kilometers.
Tom Blomqvist rode the #60 720S GT3 he shares with McLaren Factory Driver Ben Barnicoat and former event winner Alvaro Parente to the second podium finish in the final classification of the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC) season opener following one of the hardest fought battles in the history of the event.
Parente is responsible for putting the car on the front row of the grid during an intense qualifying session to put the team in a strong position for the start of the race.
Unlike other endurance races, the Bathurst 12 Hour event begins at dawn, providing drivers with a unique challenge as they take on the tricky 6.213 km circuit long before they see any sunlight.
During the opening laps, the #60 car took an early lead in the opening hour of the race after a risky maneuver by Barnicoat with the sun rising. A strategy gamble in the opening stages, combined with consistently being one of the fastest cars on track, saw the drivers battling for positions at the head of the field, remaining in contention throughout the full 12-hour battle.
Late race drama for the leading cars saw a number of changes to the order at the front of the field, and s rain started falling at the end event’s end, Blomqvist brought the car home on the lead lap to secure an historic debut result.
The strong showing by the 59Racing team in the Pro class was echoed by the #59 Silver class entry. McLaren Professional Driver Martin Kodrić joined Australian GT race-winner Fraser Ross Australian GT Endurance champion Dominic Storey, and each showed impressive pace throughout.
At the checkered flag, the trio took victory in the hotly-contested Silver class and secured an impressive eighth place finish overall, against a truly world-class field. Kodric, making his Bathurst debut, also set two of the three fastest laps of the race.