Three hours into this year’s Bathurst 12 Hour race in Australia, Nick Catsburg in the #34 Walkenhorst Motorsport M6 GT3 hit a kangaroo during a caution period. The car came in for repairs, but eventually it was withdrawn because of temperature problems that resulted from the incident.
The Bathurst race was the first in the five-race Intercontinental GT Challenge Series; the next race will be the 24 Hours of Spa in Belgium in July. Walkenhorst will run two M6 GT3s for the balance of the season, but because of difficulties shipping the cars out of South Africa after the November Kyalami race, just one car was available for Bathurst. It was reportedly air freighted to Australia for the race, where it was shared by Catsburg and Daytona winners Augusto Farfus and Chaz Mostert. Martin Tomczyk, Nick Yelloly, and David Pittard will join the team at Spa.
The overall win in Bathurst went to Jules Gounon, Maxime Soulet, and Jordan Peppe in the #7 Team M-Sport Bentley that dominated the race.
Catsburg said, “I feel very sorry for the team that we were again unable to complete the Bathurst race in what was, after 2019, our second attempt together. Of course it is really sad to have hit an animal so badly. After my collision with the kangaroo, the car was so badly damaged that we were afraid of causing more damage if we continued. We knew that we were slightly lacking the pace to run at the very front of the field. However, at an endurance race, the top priority is always to complete the full distance and get a good result. It is a real shame that we were unable to do that.”
With the M6 GT3 gone, the M4 GT4 run by the California-based RHC Jorgensen/Strom team and drivers Daren Jorgensen, Brett Strom and Danny van Dongen upheld the marque’s honor with a win in the two-car GT4 class, finishing 22nd overall, seven laps ahead of the second place Mercedes-AMG GT4.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy BMW Motorsport.]