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Title win gets Chris van der Drift 2018 Bathurst 12 Hour drive

Chris van der Drift will drive in his third Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour next year when he joins a four-driver strong Class B line-up.


31-year-old van der Drift won this year’s Porsche Carrera Cup Asia title last weekend. A victory and a sixth place at China’s Shanghai International Circuit was enough to secure the title over Germany’s Martin Ragginger.


Earlier this year at the Singapore Grand Prix Porsche announced they’d be taking the overall Carrera Cup title winner, Pro-Am winner and Porsche Junior drivers to next year’s 12 Hour race.


The New Zealander will join Evan Chen and Andrew Tang in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car led by Australian Paul Tresidder.


“It’s cool to go back to Bathurst again, I always love going there,” van der Drift told velocitynews.co.nz.


“It’ll be my third time in a Cup car, so it should be good. For those guys, obviously Paul’s driven there, but for Andrew and Evan they’ve never done any laps around Bathurst so it’ll be a big learning curve for them. I’m sure they’ll be alright and I can’t wait to get back there really.”


With Chen and Tang the least experienced of the Porsche quartet, van der Drift said he’ll be utilising his driver training to get the pair up to speed.


“I’m already passing them all some video. Closer to the time we’ll have to do a lot more work, but that will probably be a great help for them rather than if Marting [Ragginger] was going there. Then there would be three guys who have never been there.


“I’ve done two Bathurst 12 Hours and the Bathurst 1000, so I’ve got heaps of laps around there now, which is really good.”


He said qualifying won’t be their focus come the first weekend of February. With a race halfway around the clock, van der Drift said they’ve got plenty of time to bring the car home in one piece.


“It’s a long race, it actually doesn’t matter if they’re not massively quick. As long as they keep it out of the walls that’s the main thing.


“I’ve never really worried about qualifying because it changes so quickly in the race. Especially in that type of race it’s managing the GT3 traffic as well because they come up so much quicker.”


Next year will be the first time the Bathurst 12 Hour will allow the generation one Porsche 911 991 GT3 Cup car to race in the Southern Hemisphere endurance season opener. The car they’ll run will be the same one Paul Tressider ran in this year’s Carrera Cup Asia.


A test for van der Drift has been slated for the next two weeks where he’ll go to Bathurst’s Mount Panorama to test ahead of next year’s race.


Another Carrera Cup Asia campaign for van der Drift will be on the Kiwi’s calendar next year with Team Formax. 2018 will see the introduction of the generation two Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, which van der Drift will drive.


He also confirmed another China GT Championship drive with Li Chao is set to go ahead.


“It pays the bills and I can keep racing, so I’ll just keep ticking along and see what else I can organise in the process for later on.”


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