THEY may be the lone Aussie V8 amongst a host of turbocharged hot-hatches and international imports, but Ford Falcon GT-F drivers Jeremy Gray and George Miedecke say they are confident about their forthcoming Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour campaign.
Reliability rather than outright pace has been the target of the JMG Racing entry, the lone Aussie-built car contesting class A1 (Extreme Performance – Forced Induction).
That’s not to say the car has lacked speed, however, with promising showings a hallmark of the big Supercharged Ford over the last twelve months.
In the hands of Gray and then co-driver Jason Gomersall, the car qualified 10th for last year’s six-hour on the Mountain, though ultimately was an early non-finisher.
Miedecke then joined the team at Phillip Island late last year for a round of the Australian Production Car series, where the car again showed its performance potential by qualifying fourth outright.
However, the enduring twelve months’ worth of development has seen the team focus on making it to the end of the Easter classic this year.
“It’s been a long 12 months between the Bathurst events,” Jeremy Gray said.
“The car has had a lot of development and we’ve worked hard on the reliability and changed a lot of things on the car.
“We’re looking to be there at the end of the race when we need to be.”
Where most teams look for more speed, Gray explained that their development path actually involved slowing the car down.
“We’ve pulled the car back a bit,” he explained.
“We’re not running on a knife’s edge any more which you don’t need to do for such a long race. It was proved last year with lots of good cars running into trouble.
“We know the car is fast but it’s been good to have another 12 months of development in the car, to learn it better.
“George (Miedecke) and I work well together and compliment each other’s driving. I think we’re a great pairing and I’ve got lots of confidence in his ability.”
Miedecke confirmed his co-drivers thoughts about the strength of their driving combination.
“We think we’re in pretty good shape,” Miedecke said.
“Between Jeremy and I there is a lot of experience in managing long-distance races like this. We’re going into it well prepared and with a good plan on how to tackle the race.
“Obviously our car will be at its best going up and down the hill so we’ll work to its strengths as the race plays out.
“We’ve got a comfortable mode we’ll run the car in for the first five hours and then we can turn it up at the end if it comes down to a race to the line.
“The car has shown plenty of speed everywhere it has raced so with improved reliability, we’re going in feeling pretty good.”
The HI-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour will be contested this weekend at Mount Panorama, Bathurst. The race will be shown live on FOX Sports 505 this Sunday, 1 April.