Augusto Farfus, Chaz Mostert, and Martin Tomczyk in the #42 BMW Team Schnitzer M6 GT3 finished fifth in the Bathurst 12 Hours run on the Mount Panorama circuit in Australia on Saturday, February 2. It was the Schnitzer team’s first appearance since the passing of long-time team principal Charly Lamm.
The Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M6 GT3, driven by Nick Catsburg, Mikkel Jensen, and Christian Krognes retired following an oil pump failure early in the race. The RHC-Jorgensen/Strom by Marc GT M4 GT4 with Daren Eric Jorgensen, Brett Strom, and Gerard McLeod at the controls finished second in the GT4 class, won by a KTM X-Bow GT4.
The #42 Schnitzer M6 GT3 was a contender, leading at mid-race and always among the front-runners, although the drivers said after the race that the car did not have quite the pace needed to win. Late in the race it was forced off-course in a pass for third by Matt Campbell in the winning #912 Porsche 911 GT3 R that he shared with Dennis Olsen and Dirk Werner. The move was investigated after the race, but the stewards declined to impose a penalty.
Augusto Farfus, fresh from his win at Daytona for Team RLL, said, “We had an amazing race in terms of our personal performance as a team, but we didn’t have much more in the pocket to fight for the podium. It’s a shame we were pushed wide, but that’s racing, and we will focus on the championship ahead. Thanks to the team – it was an emotional weekend but we remained strong throughout.”
BMW motorsport director noted, “BMW Team Schnitzer did an amazing job here at Bathurst – Charly would have been proud. A big compliment goes to every single team member and all drivers for an outstanding performance in an emotionally difficult situation. Throughout a thrilling race, the BMW M6 GT3 was always part of the leading group and was leading the race for some time. With a little more luck, a podium finish would have been possible. I feel sorry for Walkenhorst Motorsport having to retire early in the race due to technical problems.”
The Bathurst race was the first in the five-race Intercontinental GT Challenge series. Competition in the series resumes with the California 8 Hours at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on March 28-30.—Brian Morgan