Bathurst (AUS) – In today's Bathurst 12 Hour Race in Australia, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 has finished in the second place. The Australian customer team of Erebus Racing with its drivers Peter Hackett (AUS), Tim Slade (AUS), Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED) and Bret Curtis (USA) came home second after having driven 270 race laps. Having started from 6th place on the grid, starting number 20 took over the lead for the first time in the third hour of the race on a wet track. In an exciting battle against other GT3 cars, the gullwing car of the customer sports team of Erebus was able to constantly hold on to a position no lower than the top three. The Bathurst 12 Hour remained a narrow decision until the very end. The two leading cars remained in the same lap and the time difference with which they crossed the finish line was only 1.13 minutes.
The endurance race on Circuit Mount Panorama, which is 6,213 kilometres long, was marked by the difficult weather conditions, a large number of incidents and many safety car phases. The traditional hilly track is located in the State of New South Wales, with a distance of approximately 200 kilometres west of Sydney, the biggest city in Australia.
Peter Hackett (AUS): "I am very happy about the second place. Our SLS AMG GT3 delivered a convincing top performance facing the wet conditions on the track. The car ran like clockwork and was completely reliable. We did not get involved in any of the incidents and drove a constant race with a great race strategy and fantastic pit stops. The co-operation with Black Falcon from Germany worked very well since both teams complemented each other perfectly."
Tim Slade (AUS): "It was a great challenge with a narrow finish here on Circuit Mount Panorama in Bathurst. During the entire race we competed with the other GT3 cars on a high level. I want to thank the whole team for this cohesive performance."
Black Falcon’s SLS AMG GT3 retired from race after accident
The second SLS AMG GT3 of the customer team Black Falcon with Rob Wilson (NZ), Sean Patrick Breslin (GB), Sean Paul Breslin (GB) and Vimal Mehta (TZA) started from 9th place on the grid and had no difficulties in claiming one of the top positions among the fastest cars in the race. After an hour, starting number 21 had to make a pit stop because of a problem with the rear suspension. After having been repaired successfully, the gullwing car of Black Falcon carried on driving. However, due to an accident in the 52nd lap, the race came to an end after three hours. Thanks to the exemplary safety level, which is currently not reached by any other GT3 car, the driver Sean Patrick Breslin was unharmed.
Most successful newcomer in the 2011 motor sport season
The Bathurst 12 Hour was the second podium position in a row for the AMG Customer Sports programme. In the Dubai 24 Hours race (12th to 14th January 2012) the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT3 scored a commanding 1-2-3 with Abu Dhabi by Black Falcon at the top.
In its debut year of 2011, the Gullwing became probably the most successful newcomer in the 2011 motorsport season: from March 2011 on 40 race cars were delivered to international customer teams that took part in races on four continents and won a total of 26 races. The success story was crowned by the team title of the FIA GT3 European Championship for HEICO Motorsport and its two Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 – the first title for the Gullwing in its first full racing season.