The Australian GT has been an ever evolving series over the past few years. The GT series has now also been split into three championships, the Australian GT Championship, the Australian Endurance championship and the Australian GT Trophy series.
The Australian GT series’s profile increased after it became involved with the Bathurst 12hr race in 2011, when GT3 series cars we first allowed to enter the event. Since then the series has really grown with new manufactures entering the series almost every year.
The latest manufacture to join the championship was BMW, which announced that it was entering the 2016 Australian GT championship with Steve Richards Motorsport to run the BMW M6 GT3 race car.
Richards and team mate Max Twigg debuted the car at the opening round of the championship in Adelaide at the Clipsal 500 with mixed results.
Recently a second M6 GT3 was added to the grid with the MARC GT team, an off shoot of the MARC Cars Australia team created by Ryan McLeod. The new team will run Morgan Harber and Jake Camilleri, but for the Phillip Island round the team brought in overseas BMW driver Bruno Spengler to work with the team.
The BMW’s had mixed results over the first couple of days of the event with both teams having a great start to the weekend.
Over at MARC GT Bruno Spengler, was the fastest in the first practise session with the team going on to qualify 11th for Race 1. The race did not go well for the team with Spengler’s team mate Morgan Harber having issues, forcing him to stop on the first lap, the problem was unable to be fixed and the car was put into the garage and did not rejoin the race.
For Race 2 the result was better with at least the team being able to finish the race be it at the end of the field.
SR Motosport also had mixed results, with the team qualifying 5th for the first race, the teams best qualifying for the season so far. Race 1 the team finished 10th. For race 2 the team had a good run again in the top 10 but was unlucky not to finish the race after an issue with a power steering hose forced the team to garage the car.
At the end of the Australian GT Championship part of the weekend, the Endurance Championship race is today, the SR Motorsport team finished 20th and the MARC GT team finished 29th.
The Endurance Championship series began on the Sunday of the event with a 101 lap race and Qualifying for the race split into two 20 minute sessions. The Marc GT M6 qualified 2nd of the grid, with the SR Motorsport qualifying in 10th.
The race was tough one for both M6’s with multiple tyre punctures. The SR Motorsport M6 suffered from three separate punctures which caused the team to miss out on a top 10 finish with the #100 car finishing 18th. The team was ultimately happy with the results from the weekend as the cars pace had improved.
Over the MARC GT garage, it was a similar story for the #90 BMW, with strong results from the weekend dashed by tyre punctures as well. After starting from second place BMW DTM driver Spengler was racing strongly with first place Shane van Gisbergen. But two puncture during the race forced the team to end up finishing 13th. But both drivers were happy with the speed of the car and the team is looking forward to the next round.
For the Australian GT series the next event is 8-10th July at the Townsville 400.
For the Australian Endurance Championship drivers the next event is 26-28th August at the Sydney Motorsport Park SuperSprint.