Class win for Audi
Audi claims additional class win at Bathurst 12 Hour.
6 February, 2018
A dramatic Bathurst 12 Hour for 2018 has seen Audi take not only the outright win, but also the GT3 AM category. The #69 Audi R8 LMS car of James and Theo Koundouris with co-drivers, Ash Walsh and Duvashen Padayachee was involved in an accident with only 12 minutes remaining on the clock, the resultant debris deemed by race officials to pose too great a risk to remaining competitors to allow the race to continue under race conditions.
The #69 Supabarn entry had performed strongly all weekend, not only leading the GT3 AM category from the start of the race, but also working its way through the ranks throughout the day to be well inside the top 10 cars at various stages of the race.
On a day dominated by accidents and safety car periods, the #69 car stayed out of trouble and maintained strong running, clearly leading the GT3 AM class when a slower competitor moved into the path of Ash Walsh (pictured) in the final stages of the race, forcing him into the wall at McPhillamy Park – one of the fastest parts of the track.
"On a day dominated by accidents and safety car periods, the #69 car stayed out of trouble and maintained strong running."
"We spent the entire race leading the class. It was good to get that reward and for the race to end that way with a victory."
Adding to the initial accident, the Mercedes of John Martin, not aware of what had happened, arrived at the scene of the initial accident at speed and impacted the now prone Audi.
Happily, all drivers involved escaped serious injury, but the race was ‘red flagged’, meaning that it could not proceed under normal race conditions.
Under race regulations, the results were rolled back to the last completed lap, which had the #69 car placed firmly in first in Am Class.
James Koundouris (pictured below) and the rest of the team presented Ash with his trophy after the race while he was still in hospital for observation and treatment to an injured elbow – a deserted result for a team that has continually campaigned strongly in the Australian GT classification over many years.
“It is really cool for the guys," Walsh said of the result. "We spent the entire race leading the class. It was good to get that reward and for the race to end that way with a victory.”
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