More Supercars Stars for Bathurst 12 Hour

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 09/01/2016
  • By Richard Craill

Scott Pye and Tony D'Alberto are the latest V8 Supercars drivers to join the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour grid. 

Pye and D'Alberto will join Finnish stars Toni Vilander and Mika Salo in the McDonald's Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3 at the February 5-7 event, Pye joining more than 10 of his V8 Supercar rivals on grid for the around-the-clock enduro.  

Pye is one of the rising stars of the V8 Supercars Championship and impressed in the 2015 season after taking over the No. 17 DJR Team Penske Falcon from Marcos Ambrose early in the season. 

His performances in the second half of the season were strong enough to convince team owner Roger Penske to add a second car to the Queensland squad for Pye to drive this year alongside the incoming Fabian Coulthard.  

"Everyone talks about the fact that every time you get to drive at Bathurst it's special and I've been wanting to drive a GT car for a long time. I'm really excited and grateful for the opportunity," Pye said. 

"I'm going to grab it with both hands and do the best I can. Enduro time in the V8 Supercars is always fun – difficult, but fun, and I always enjoy teaming up with a co-driver." 

Pye said he was looking forward to his first experience in top-flight GT Machinery. 

"This race something I have wanted to do for a while now, but probably didn't feel like I was completely ready last year and I wanted to focus on what we were doing in the main series," he explained. 

"So I thought I'd wait another year and this has come at the perfect time. You could say I have unfinished business at the Mountain and the 12-hour is a race I want to win. Maranello has done that in the past and I think it's the right team with the right drivers to do just that."

After a brief and extremely disappointing 12-Hour campaign in 2015, D'Alberto – a V8 Supercars PIRTEK Enduro Cup regular – said the Maranello team had been building for the 2016 event for some time. 

"I'm excited to have the opportunity to have another crack at this big race," he said. 

"The team has had great success in the past and great results in the Australian GT Championship last year, and we really want to continue that form. Maranello as a team is a very strong operation with some great people on board. Once we've done our test/shakedown we'll be in a better position than how we entered last year."

"To drive with Mika and Toni is quite cool and to have a full time Supercar driver in Scott is going to be great experience for the team. You couldn't share the car with anyone better."

Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport driver Nick Percat is another Supercars full-timer to join the Bathurst grid, locking in a spot with the Performance West-supported Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 team.

He will share the Italian Supercar with Scott Andrews and Peter Rullo – the father of teenager Alex Rullo, who will contest the V8 Supercars Dunlop Series this year. 

"I've tried to help Alex out a bit and have spent some time talking to Peter. He told me he was going to buy the Lambo asked if I'd be interested in running and I jumped at opportunity," Percat explained. 

"It's come from a relationship I've got with the family, but from now I'll be working with Alex so it's also the start of a mentoring relationship with them."

A host of top drivers from the V8 Supercars grid will join the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour field this February. 

TEKNO Autosports will run a pair of factory-supported McLaren 650S GT3 entries with outgoing driver Shane van Gisbergen and incoming star Will Davison amongst the drivers. 

New Brad Jones Racing driver Tim Slade will drive a privately-entered McLaren for Objective Racing while Dale Wood – who moves from BJR to Nissan Motorsport in 2016 – will drive a Lamborghini.  

Craig Lowndes and Garth Tander will team up for the first time, driving for Jamec-Pem Racing in an Audi R8 LMS. The pair have nine Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 victories between them, while both have also tasted success in GT endurance races on the Mountain: Lowndes winning the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour and Tander the 2002 Bathurst 24 Hour. 

Volvo factory driver Scott McLaughlin will team up with long-time supporter Stephen Grove and LeMans winner Earl Bamber in a Class B Porsche GT3 Cup Car. 

Regular PIRTEK Enduro Cup drivers Jonathan Webb (TEKNO McLaren), Warren Luff (Objective Racing McLaren) will also feature amongst a host of the world's most talented GT and Sports Car drivers. 

Further V8 Supercars talent could potentially to join the grid with Nissan Motorsport, Erebus Motorsport and Bentley M-Sport yet to confirm their driving combinations. 

Tickets remain on sale for the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour via Ticketek and while the Paddock and McPhillamy Park campgrounds are sold out, sites remain in the Reid & Sulman Campgrounds with booking available via the Bathurst 12 Hour website. 

The 2016 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour will be broadcast in its entirety on the Seven Network around Australia. 

V8 SUPERCARS STARS IN 12 HOUR CARS:

Tim Slade (Objective Racing McLaren 650S GT3)
Dale Wood (M Motorsport Lamborghini Gallardo GT3)
Will Davison (Tekno Autosport McLaren 650S GT3)
Shane van Gisbergen (Tekno Autosport McLaren 650S GT3)
Nick Percat (Performance West Racing Lamborghini Gallardo GT3)
Craig Lowndes (Jamec-Pem Racing Audi R8 LMS)
Garth Tander (Jamec-Pem Racing Audi R8 LMS)
Scott McLaughlin (Grove Racing Porsche GT3 Cup Car)
Scott Pye (Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3)
Warren Luff (Objective Racing McLaren 650S)
Jonathan Webb (Tekno Autosport McLaren 650S)
Tony D'Alberto (Maranello Motorsport Ferrari 458 GT3)

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