NEWS

Simon Evans gets late call-up to make Bathurst 12 Hour debut

Defending BNT NZ Touring Car Championship winner Simon Evans will make his debut at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in less than two-weeks time.

 

In a late deal, Evans is set to partner former Supercars Championship driver Marcus Marshall and brothers Theo and James Koundouris, in their Pro-Am Supabarn Audi R8 LMS GT3 — doing so with the support of Giltrap Group.

 

“Any race at Bathurst is pretty special,” Evans told velocitynews.co.nz.

 

“If you look at the calibre of drivers at the 12 Hour, especially this year, it's pretty phenomenal. To go there, experience some pretty special machinery at a pretty special place is going to be pretty — well — special.”

 

The deal to compete at the iconic event was only resolved late last week, in the build-up to the latest round of the NZ Touring Car Championship at Teretonga Park.

 

“It only came together this week, after Thursday night. So really late, two weeks out from the event,” he said.

 

“I've never driven the car before or anything like that, so there's obviously a little bit of pressure, but I'm not going there to be a hero.”

 

This will be Evans' second visit to the mountain as a competitor, after he made his debut there in 2015 while driving for Super Black Racing in the Dunlop Development Series. However it will be his debut in a GT3-specification car.

 

“I've only been there once, so I'm confident within reason. There's a couple of parts that are really tricky, and you've just got to really build up to it,” he said.

 

“[The Audi] is quite a different beast. Obviously I've only driven the V8 around there — that moved around quite a bit, while the GT3 car has a lot more aero and driver aids. So I'm expecting it to be a lot more stable if the set-up's within the window.

 

“I'm just going over there to develop myself as a driver, and hopefully also finish the race.

 

“[The team] have done a lot of GT3 stuff before; obviously it's their own car. It'll be great to try and learn off them, I've just got to go there and act like a sponge and hopefully soak up as much as I can.”

 

While the stature of the Bathurst 12 Hour continues to grow annually, the Auckland-based driver still ranks the Bathurst 1000 event as the pinnacle in Australasia — and a future target.

 

“Racing at Bathurst is any dream come true. [But] the ultimate dream would be the 1000 — we almost had it but it didn't come off,” he said.

 

“There, but not quite. We're still chasing it.”

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