Saturday, Apr 14 07:20pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

The Bend hits a bump on Australian GT debut

Australia's newest motor racing facility The Bend Motorsport Park, an hour east of Adelaide, has hit a speedbump on its racing debut.


The opening round of the CAMS Australian Endurance Championship was set to use the full 7.77km GT layout this weekend. However, following ‘extreme weather instances’ the schedule and circuit layout has been revised in the interest of safety.


The adverse weather conditions has limited visibility on the country’s longest circuit. Instead of using the full GT layout, the series will instead use the shorter 4.95km International layout.


Weather forecasts suggest that the conditions will not improve.


With that in mind, the Australian GT category management and CAMS (Confederation of Australian Motor Sport) have delayed Saturday’s racing to Sunday.

The race duration will be two hours and 40 minutes with the race set to be held on the International circuit, the same layout that will be used by the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship later this year.

“This decision has not been taken lightly, and comes after careful consideration and consultation with CAMS and the GT Commission,” Australian GT manager Ken Collier said.

“We've been hugely impressed by the fantastic new facility, and it's a shame the extreme weather has had such an impact.

"We now look forward to putting on a fabulous race tomorrow."

The teams were given an opportunity to practice on the new layout on Saturday afternoon. Results from qualifying will stand, despite the change in layout.


It means Max Twigg and Tony D’Alberto will start from pole position in the WM Waste Management Mercedes-AMG GT3.


Dan Gaunt was the best placed Kiwi with ninth with Tony Bates in their Audi R8 LMS GT3. Shane van Gisbergen will start 12th alongside Tony Quinn, while Craig Baird will start one spot ahead in 11th with Scott Taylor.


Photo: Supplied/Dirk Klynsmith