• Aidan impresses on Mount Panorama debut with pace and maturity
• He makes the transition from open wheelers and prototypes to GT machinery seamlessly
• Finishes fourth in the GT4 class in the 12-hour endurance classic
• Laps quickly and consistently to put the Ginetta G55 in podium positions after each of his stints
• Fueling issues drop the G55 Ginetta off the podium in the last hour after faultless running
• Aidan will be announcing more about his exciting 2017 race programme in the coming weeks
Summary of the race
Aidan Read made his first appearance, not only in a GT car but at Mount Panorama Bathurst, and quietly impressed with a fast and consistent run to keep the #69 Ginetta GT4 in contention for a podium until the final hour of the grueling 12-hour event.
He was joined in the four-driver line up by fellow Australian Jake Parsons, Japanese Shinyo Sano and Chinese Malaysian Zen Low in one of two Ginetta G55 GT4 cars entered by Aleyzo RA Motorsport. The second car was piloted by Ginetta factory driver Mike Simpson and two local Australians with Bathurst experience.
Aidan was elected to take the start, marking another first for the 17-year-old as the race got underway at 05.45 in darkness and the 2h45 minute stint took in the transition to daylight for the vast 50 plus car field.
Starting sixth in class, Aidan ran a series of impressive laps to hand the car over to his Japanese teammate in second position and firmly on the lead lap.
The field was full of V8 Supercar stars and Champions, as well as a strong contingent of the worlds finest factory GT drivers and a good number of former Formula One stars. However, this did not prevent an accident and incident filled race commonplace with the unforgiving Mount Panorama Circuit
The #69 car managed to avoid much of the on-track drama but did fall foul to a series of pit lane infringements resulting in a number of penalties dropping the car back out of contention six laps back by the half way mark.
Aidan took over for his final stint with three hours remaining and the young Perth driver gave his all to pull the car back a lap and into the podium position, only for the hard work to be undone as the car failed to take on fuel when handing back to Parsons for the final push to the line.
The team worked frantically to resolve the glitch finally succeeding but too late to save the podium and coming home on a very hard fought fourth spot in the Class C GT4 class.
On the Mount Panorama Circuit
“This is an awesome place and it was a little daunting at first as there is no room for error – particularly over the top and it would be easy to have a big accident. I approached the track cautiously at first but once I found a rhythm and got comfortable with the car and circuit I really started to enjoy it. I found that if you are hesitant you won’t be quick here, so you have to balance commitment with a small degree of respect to get the lap times and keep out of trouble.”
On the transition to GT Machinery
“At first I was surprised by the softness of the car given that I am used to Prototype LMP machinery and open wheelers and the car obviously has less power than those cars, but I did find I was quickly at home with the Ginetta and once I got comfortable with its characteristics, I was able to push hard and it rewards you in the same way as any racing car. I really enjoyed it.”
On the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour race
“This is a great but crazy race, especially with the speed differential between the GT3 and GT4 machinery that I was driving. On the straights, we were being monstered by the more powerful cars and even the other GT4 cars but over the mountain top the agility of the Ginetta meant we could pull an advantage on our competitors.
“It so important that each lap I was precise and committed to pull a gap before the long Conrod straight. This didn’t stop the GT3 cars and even on the top they would harry you through the bends looking to push past and I got a few love taps and rubs during the race! But I loved it and loved the experience and would love to come back in the top class at some point in the future.”