Friday, January 11, 2013

Phoenix Racing confirms drivers and livery for Bathurst

Bathurst 12 Hour Press Release

Looking to defend their stunning victory 12 months ago, Phoenix will being Swiss driver Harold Primat plus Swedish aces Johan Kristoffersson and Andreas Simonsen to pilot the No.1 Audi R8 LMS Ultra. Though perhaps not as well known as already confirmed ‘names' like Allan Simonsen, Mika Salo and two-time winner Christopher Mies, the three are highly rated in the international sports car and GT racing fields and add substantial talent to an already strong grid.

The car will once again carry an Australian livery that merges the ‘Kangaroo' and ‘Redback' liveries utilised by the team in 2012. Phoenix were arguably the most successful GT3 team last season, winning major 24 Hour endurance races at the Nurburgring and Spa Francorchamps along with their Bathurst success.

The team also competes regularly at the front for Audi in the DTM (German Touring Cars), having won the title in 2011. "Bathurst 2012 impressed us not only because we won," Said Team Director Ernst Moser. "It was Phoenix Racing's first commitment in Australia, an impressive continent with an extreme race track that due to its characteristics can certainly be compared with the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. We're really happy to be on the Bathurst grid again. For Johan Kristoffersson, Harold Primat and Andreas Simonsen, Bathurst is new territory but all three of them have enough experience to master this challenge." Phoenix Racing's choice of drivers again mixes youth and experience and should see them again challenge for the outright win.

24-year-old Swede Johan Kristoffersson impressed in 2012, clinching the Italian Superstars Series title driving an Audi RS5, the same year he also won the Scandinavian Touring Car Championship (in a VW Scirocco) and the Scandinavian Porsche Carrera Cup.

At 23, Swedish ace Andreas Simonsen (no relation to Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour regular, Allan) brings the most GT3 experience to Phoenix's Bathurst attack, with substantial Audi R8LMS experience under his belt in the German ADAC GT Masters series, driving for Phoenix, and third-place results in the 24 Hours of Dubai and the Nurburgring.

Harold Primat, 37, competes regularly in LMP1 prototype competition, is a former Aston Martin factory racer and last year raced with Rebellion Racing's privateer prototype team in the World Endurance Championship, winning the Shanghai round, in his class, in the process.

The Phoenix Audi and container left Europe for Australia in early December, and the team remains highly motivated to win a second consecutive Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 hour crown.

"Unlike a year ago, when Bathurst was still unknown territory for the team, Phoenix Racing is now able to draw on a certain amount of experience," Moser said. "The GT3 competition is incredibly strong. We're expecting a tough battle for the podium places and are eager to see what surprises Bathurst - after last year's changeable weather with rain and fog - have in store for us this time."