BATHURST, NSW, Australia, Feb. 7 — Kevin Gleason of Johnstown, Pa. is halfway around the world this weekend and set to tackle one of the most difficult sports car endurance races in the world — the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour at the very challenging Mount Panorama Circuit.
Gleason is looking for his third straight endurance sports car victory, as he was also part of the winning team at the NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill in Willows, Calif. in December and a 13-hour enduro at VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, Va., last October.
This weekend’s race has attracted an international field of drivers who will pilot 44 cars around the newly-resurfaced, 6.23-kilometer circuit about 120 miles west of Sydney.
Gleason, 26, is one of four drivers of Rotek Racing’s No. 14, an Audi R8 LMS 2011 sponsored by Oakley Motorsports. It is one of 14 entries in Class B, GT3.
Gleason has three British co-drivers for this race— Oliver Gavin, Rob Huff and Richard Meins. Gavin is a GM factory driver, a four-time American Le Mans Series champion and a four-time class winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Huff is the 2012 FIA World Touring Car champion. Meins is also an accomplished GT driver who has a class victory at the Spa 24 Hours.
“I’ve never been to Bathurst, but it’s a world-renowned circuit and the event is rapidly rising in stature, so I’m really excited about the whole thing,” said Gleason. “It will definitely be a challenge. Mount Panorama is regarded as one the toughest circuits in the world – it’s like a street track on steroids, with little margin for error. I’ve never driven the Audi R8 LMS and it will definitely be a step up for me in terms of power.
“However, with a highly professional and experienced team behind me and proven teammates, it should be a straightforward transition,” he added. “I’ll be looking to learn from factory Corvette driver Oliver Gavin and also Rob Huff, as he’s on a bit of a roll in endurance racing at the moment. It’s not often you get to team up with a Le Mans winner and a world champion!”
The race starts at 6:15 a.m. local time on Sunday, which is 2:15 p.m. Eastern time Saturday in the United States. (Bathurst is 16 hours ahead.) The local weather forecast for Bathurst predicts sunny skies and temperatures up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit this weekend.
Fans in the States can watch and listen to live streaming at bathurst12hour.com/au/live and radiolemans.com. Live timing and scoring and the results from all sessions will be available on the race’s Web site at bathurst12hour.cojm/au. The event also has a Facebook page and a Twitter stream using the hashtag #B12Hr.