9 April 2017 | General


Experienced club-level endurance racers David Bailey and Matt Thewlis will be aiming to conquer Class D in this weekend’s Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour, when they line up on the grid in the Sparesbox Toyota 86.Bailey and Thewlis both have a wealth of experience in some of Australia’s most popular grass-roots motorsport categories, and are looking forward to the challenge of a major endurance race at Mount Panorama.Bailey’s racing career began in the popular Series X3 NSW category for Hyundai Excel racing cars. He then progressed to his current Toyota 86, which he has campaigned with strong results in the NSW Production Touring Car Championship along with the Wakefield, Queensland and Winton 300 endurance races.He raced in last year’s Bathurst 6 Hour, finishing third in Class D with Matt Shylan.Thewlis, who resides in Wangaratta in north-eastern Victoria, was a multiple race winner in the Pulsar Racing Series, and has also competed in a number of 300s along with recent appearances in the Miniature Race Car Series. The 6 Hour will be Thewlis’ first race at Mount Panorama, with both drivers planning to pair up for the entire 2017 Australian Production Car Series.”I’m looking forward to the Bathurst 6 Hour, endurance races really suit both the car and my driving style,” Bailey said.”I may not be the quickest driver over a single lap, but I know I can maintain a consistent pace over a long distance and we really love the strategic aspect of endurance racing, which is how we’ve been able to achieve such strong results.”The race is going to be really competitive this year – there are 14 cars just in Class D so a podium will be a big achievement.”Thewlis said the experience of racing in traffic in the 300km races will serve the team well for the Bathurst 6 Hour.”The Wakefield, Winton and Queensland 300s always have large fields, with cars travelling at all different speeds – they’re great races for learning how to manage traffic,” Thewlis said.”We know our car is down on straight-line speed compared to cars in the outright classes, but over the top of the mountain we should hold our own.”I’m very excited to be racing at Bathurst for the first time and it’s a bit daunting, but Dave prepares the car meticulously and we know it will be reliable.”As always in an endurance race at Bathurst, it’s about buying a ticket to the last hour so we’ll be pacing ourselves until then, and hopefully put ourselves in a position to push hard for a class podium.”The David Bailey/Matt Thewlis Toyota 86 is proudly supported by Sparesbox, Car Finance 4 You, Modern Day Electrical, Advanced Gas Maintenance, Suspension Concepts and LA Racing Lubricants.