Already the 2015 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12-Hour has attracted huge overseas interest, with international teams, cars and drivers entered for this year’s event, but arguably one of the biggest names to appear in the paddock this time around, won’t be a competitor..
Fresh from the opening Formula One test of the year, Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Paul Hembrey will fly into Bathurst on Friday to be at Mount Panorama circuit to take stock of the event and the progress of the Pirelli supported teams. “Such is the importance of this event to Pirelli on a global scale, that Paul made a change to his hectic pre-season schedule to come down to Bathurst to be a part of the event and support all the work we’ve done with the Bathurst 12-Hour over the last couple of years,” Trofeo Motorsport’s Jim Manolios confirmed.
With the first F1 test concluding at Jerez today [Wednesday], Hembrey will be straight on a plane from Spain to Sydney, arriving in time for practice on Friday, before returning to the UK ahead of the second round of Formula One testing at Catalunya in two weeks time. As one of the pre-eminent GT races in the world ahead of the start of the European, American and Australian championships, Bathurst provides valuable pre-season data for the likes of the Blancpain Series, the Pirelli World Challenge, and of course, the Australian GT Championship.
There will be plenty of Pirelli presence in the paddock area this year, and fans are invited to come down to visit ‘Pirelli Alley’ an area that stretches from the back of the garages behind Tower 2, all the way to the Pirelli tyre compound. Inside there will be a selection of high performance road cars, GT cars, a Formula 1 simulator and a whole celebration of Pirelli’s involvement in all forms of motorsport. You can also talk to the team about their range of high-performance road tyres, and if you’re lucky, you may get the chance to grab an autograph from one or two members of the Formula 1 family [Paul Hembrey or Ivan Capelli].