Trofeo Motorsport has opted for consistency for a return bid for ‘Am’ class honours at the 2018 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour next February.
The Jim Manolios-led team has confirmed the return of their Lamborghini Hurracan GT3 to the February 2-4 event, with the same driving squad that helped the team secure 10th outright and third in the BRM Chronographes ‘Am’ class in 2017.
Manilios will be joined by Ryan Millier, Dean Canto and ex-F1 driver Ivan Capelli in 2018, while the team is also working on the potential addition of a second car.
The team tested at the Challenge Bathurst event last week and made progress extracting more speed from their Hurracan, regular Supercars enduro pilot Canto banking the fastest time of the event – one that featured several GT3 teams.
“We learned a lot last year from the event and came third, top-10, so we’re trying for that number one spot,” Manolios said.
“We will run the same driver line up – we’re on to a good thing so we’re sticking to it.”
“In the last 12 months we’ve had a lot more development and a lot more understanding of the car and how it works.
“These latest version of GT3 cars are really race cars; you can feel one click in a shock, a slight adjustment. It takes quite a lot of time to get it going.
“We haven’t been able to use the data from Europe because the cars are slightly different. They run a different air restrictor and a slightly wider front tyre, which we won’t have until next year.
“That’s what we’ve been working on, that setup.”
Manolios confirmed the team was also looking to add a second car to their program for 2018.
“We’re working on a second car with Squadra Corse’ (Lamborghini’s Customer Racing division),” he explained.
“We’re not at the point of confirming anything yet but it is a work in progress. It would be good to have a second car as part of the program.”
Trofeo Motorsport qualified 25th for the race this year but a solid day at the office saw them progress up the order throughout the day; ultimately finishing 10th outright and third in class.
The Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour marks one of the biggest weekends of the year for Trofeo, given the brands other role as Australia’s Pirelli Motorsport Tyre distributor.
Pirelli are not only a sponsor of the event but also the official tyre supplier – bringing more than 1200 tyres to the Mountain in order service the 55-plus car field.
“From a Trofeo perspective, It’s probably our big event for the year,” Manolios said.
“That’s why we’re hoping to get a second car, do the tyre support. We’ve also picked up several other new, innovative produces in Motorsport which we will launch shortly so there’s a bit for us to do at the 12-hour.”