Saturday, February 2, 2013

The former GT Champion and the 2-time Bathurst winner with Audi

 photo MPC_zps0fd4875f.png

Melbourne Performance Centre Press Release

The former GT Champion and the 2-time Bathurst winner
MPC/Network Clothing/Hallmarc Developments Audi R8 LMS ultra
1 February, 2013

Have you heard the one about the three mates who thought they’d like to go racing at Bathurst and have a bit of fun, well they thought just to make things interesting and give themselves a bit of extra motivation to ‘step it up’, that they’d invite the reigning German two-time Bathurst 12-Hour champion along for a few tips..

Okay, so it’s no urban myth - at least not yet - but there’s every chance it will turn into a cracking yarn, as ‘old mates’ Mark Eddy, Mark Cini and Dean Grant join forces with Christopher Mies for the forthcoming Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12-Hour.

As one of the most experienced teams in pit-lane - in fact they’re almost considered Bathurst veterans - they’re not just entered to make up the numbers, they’re serious.. don’t let the silly grins and pit-lane shenanigans suggest otherwise.

12 months ago, reigning Australian GT Champion Mark Eddy was in the box seat. Driving with 2011 12-Hour team-mates Craig Lowndes and Warren Luff, they missed outright victory that year by just seven tenths of a second, and came back hungry for more in 2012. Sadly, in changeable conditions whilst in a strong outright position, an incident on track ended their race early. Another incident at the opening round of the GT Championship on the streets of Adelaide saw Mark’s own R8 suffer more damage, so he withdrew from the series and put the car on the market.

Then - as things go - a discussion ensued with Marc Cini about doing some endurance events overseas, and hey presto, an urgent call was put out for a new mount for this year’s 12-Hour.

“Marc [Cini] and I had been talking about it for a while, and one thing led to another,” Mark Eddy explained. “We were in the closing stages of 2012 and we thought we’d better do something about it. We rang Audi Sport in Germany about a new R8 ultra, and they would have sent one, but unfortunately it would have been touch and go as to whether it would have arrived in time [for Bathurst]. They suggested that the car which Edoardo Mortara [Audi factory DTM pilot] took to victory at the Macau Grand Prix was sitting on the docks in Hong Kong waiting to be transported back to Germany, so we decided to take that.”

In typical Audi Sport Customer Racing style, the car was given a complete ‘birthday’ on arrival at Melbourne Performance Centre [MPC] and prepared for its maiden 12-Hour event.
Just a fortnight out from the big race, the trio [without Mies] joined MPC team-mates Rod Salmon and Warren Luff to get comfortable with the new car ahead of 12 grueling hours on the mountain.
“It’s louder…” was Mark Eddy’s initial impression after his first session. “Typically, it’s a step up, with the way it delivers power, and the big difference in aero it’s much nicer, and much tighter to drive.”
Marc Cini agreed. “It’s different to the Carrera Cup [Porsche] car I’m used to, and I’d expect will be easier to drive, certainly across 12 hours.

Dean Grant too was all smiles after his maiden run in the car, and admitted that he was looking forward to joining Eddy and Cini for the event. “It will be a lot of fun to ‘hang out’ with the boys and have a few laughs, but at the end of the day we’re serious about the race, and given our pace today, we should do pretty well.

“This will be the best chance I’ve had for outright victory, and the best car I’ve driven on ‘the mountain’ so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Despite track temperatures of more than 50-degrees, the pace of the Network Clothing/Hallmarc Developments Audi was strong, on new and old rubber.

“Their pace has been good, but more importantly all three drivers were right on the mark,” MPC’s Lee Burley confirmed. “If they can keep that up for 11-hours, they should be well within reach of the leaders, and with two-time winner Christopher Mies at their disposal, don’t discount them.”

“At the end of the day, our aim is to finish,” Mark Eddy admitted. “After that, lets see what happens. We’ve all done a lot of endurance racing, so we know it takes some serious effort, and you really have to be focusing on that eleventh hour. A lot of these races are won in the pits, whilst on track, you have to be very careful with traffic. With around 50 cars of varying pace on circuit this year, that will be another element of difference that we’ll all have to take into account, so it’s not going to be easy, but we’ll give it our best shot!

“I’m more worried about Christoper.. It’s not often you get to mix Germans with Aussies. The three of us have raced together, overseas and previously at Bathurst, so hopefully Christopher understands our sense of humour, because if he doesn’t, it’s going to be a long 12-Hours..”

Mark Eddy and the Audi R8 LMS at Bathurst
2011 Bathurst 12-Hour                            
[Craig Lowndes/Warren Luff/Mark Eddy Joest Racing #7 Audi Australia]
Qualifying: P1
Race: P2 - 0.7141 behind the race winner (fastest lap: 2:09.0861)
2012 Bathurst 12-Hour                            
[Craig Lowndes/Warren Luff/Mark Eddy Pheonix Racing #2 Audi Australia]
Qualifying: P5
Race: DNF (156-laps)

Melbourne Performance Centre is proudly supported by Network Clothing, Hallmarc Developments, Pirelli Australia,, One World Bar, The Audi Race Experience, PH Motorsport Trailers - supplier of the new Audi Sports Customer racing transporter, BluFi Wireless Australia, Questek Australia and Top Gun Restorations.
Hallmarc Developments
Hallmarc Limited is an un-listed public company comprising of four divisions. Each division has a specific focus that, when combined, provide the most comprehensive property services available.
Born out of Hallmarc’s extensive property industry experience, each division has evolved in order to address key areas of property development and management allowing Hallmarc to have direct control of all outcomes from design to asset management. 
This vertically integrated approach means that projects can be completed on time, budget and above all maintain long term quality and value for every project. 
For more information, please visit
Network Clothing 
Network Clothing is a wholesaler of mens, ladies and childrens casual garments. They have offices in Melbourne, Australia and Hangzhou, China. Currently they are manufacturing in both China and Bangladesh and wholesale to many of the large retail chain stores in Australia.

Melbourne Performance Centre
Since 2004, Victorian motorsport enthusiasts Lee Burley and Troy Russell have operated Melbourne Performance Centre [MPC], a professional motorsport operation dedicated to ‘gentleman’ [and lady] racers. 
Their business model is simple; to provide fellow enthusiasts and competitors a range of services that will enhance their experience with the sport, from the build, preparation and engineering of race cars, to transportation and support at the circuit.
The Audi Race Experience
Get behind the wheel yourself to discover a new level of excitement with the Audi Driving Experience. Refine your technique, develop more skilled control at higher speeds and pursue the ultimate in performance.
From advanced programs, right through to the Audi race experience, there is a program to suit every kind of driver.
The Audi Driving Experience makes use of a range of Audi’s vehicles, from sports road cars right through to their Bathurst winning race vehicles. From Audi’s advanced driving courses, you can move through to the Audi sportscar experience and finally, the Audi race experience where you can slip behind the wheel of the Audi R8 LMS GT3 racecar that holds the mantel of Australian GT and Bathurst 12-Hour Champion.
To find out more, call Melbourne Performance Centre today.
Melbourne Performance Centre
521 Mountain Highway,
Bayswater VIC 3153
Phone: 03 9738 2294
Fax: 03 9738 2296

Photo credit: MPC