Lyons to make Bathurst debut in 12-hour endurance spectacular
PUBLISHED: 08:59 07 January 2014
Michael Lyons is to embark on one of the biggest challenges of his racing career next month at the legendary Bathurst circuit in Australia, after being invited to race a BMW M3 in the prestigious Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
Joining the New Zealand-based Mortimer Motorsports squad, alongside father and son duo Warwick and Andre Mortimer, the 22-year-old from Felsted will be be visiting the New South Wales circuit for the first time.
Renowned as one of the most spectacular race tracks in the world, Bathurst – also referred to as Mount Panorama – is a unique challenge and features some of the most famous corners and high speed straights in global motorsport.
So prominent is the Bathurst 12 Hour on the annual motor racing calendar, the event is billed as the ‘ultimate Aussie endurance race’. This year’s encounter, which will be contested by more than 50 entries, will take place over the weekend February 8-9.
“I’m really excited to be racing at Bathurst”, said Lyons. “To get to drive the ‘mountain’ for the first time is fantastic, I’ve never been to Bathurst before, as a driver or spectator, so it really is going to be a special weekend. The 12 Hour is becoming one of the really great endurance races, a must-do.
“The BMW should be quite competitive, it’s a GT4 spec car and I think we should be able to do a good job. I know the Mortimers through the historic racing scene, Bathurst was mentioned earlier in the year when we spoke and then Warwick and Andre invited me to join them. I can’t wait to get out there, it’s going to be a fantastic challenge.”
Although having never competed at Bathurst before, Lyons has enjoyed a string of successes in the ranks of historic racing on Australian soil – he actually made his car racing debut at Phillip Island in 2007, aged 16, and became a class winner in his maiden race.
Most recently, during the FIA Formula One World Championship’s Australian Grand Prix weekend in Melbourne last year, he won the International Sportscar support race at the wheel of an awesome 900bhp March 717 and delivered the fastest ever lap of Albert Park in a non-contemporary Formula One car.
One week earlier, Lyons also steered the March to victory at the Phillip Island Classic.
• The 12th staging of the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour will begin with practice on February 7, ahead of qualifying on February 8. The race itself will get underway on February 9, with live streaming of the action online at bathurst12hour.com.au