23 March 2022 | General

Race against time for brand-new BMW M2 to make Bathurst 6 Hour grid

CHE Racing is in a race against time to make the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour grid to transform its brand-new BMW M2 Competition into a potential outright contending race weapon for the popular Mount Panorama event.

Led by reigning Carrera Cup champion and current Triple Eight Super2 driver Cameron Hill, his private team is undergoing a major build of the road-going M2 to what should be a rival to its all conquering cousins – the BMW M3s and M4s that have dominated the production car scene in recent times.

The two-door, twin-turbo 3 litre coupe produces 550 nm torque, using the same engine and drive train as the M3 and M4, but is smaller and lighter and, given the right development work, can be a real threat to the established entries.

With Hill, reigning Formula Ford champion Tom Sargent and former Supercars racer Dale Brede behind the wheel in the CHE Racing entry, on paper, it should be a contender against the record 70-car field, however Hill is conservative with his approach to the 6 Hour race that is continuing to grow in popularity against professional and amateur level racers.

“With the race only a month away the build is still in progress, we have been delayed by supply issues, with parts coming from Germany, USA and England,” said Hill.

“We are hoping to have the car completed in the next fortnight.

“Ultimately we want to challenge for outright victory, but with little development for this year, we are realistic about our chances. Last year, Tom was driving and I was on the headset and we played a smart race to win Class D and place 15th outright.

“It will be cool to race with Tom as I have been working with him since he started in Formula Ford with us in 2018.

“We believe the M2 Competition could give us an edge over the M3/M4s that have dominated the last few years.

“It’s been a big job, basically been full time, 7 days a week for my dad Colin, for four months now. It is not easy to transform these cars from road to race.

“We also have Dale Brede set to join us. He certainly knows his way around Bathurst having competed many times in the 1000. We think that we have a great driver line up. We will bring our Porsche and Formula Ford crews together to run the car so we know that during the race the crew will be up for the challenge as well.”

Sargent says that after his taste of success in his Toyota 86 in Class D last year, he hopes that the team can iron out any teething problems early.

“I’m really hoping we can get there, run around for the whole race and finish. The car needs laps and that’s what we need to be aiming for,” said Sargent.

“It’s a huge job just to get there, but we hope to get valuable time in the car and put ourselves in a great position for future events.

“The 6 Hour is one of my favourite events. I’ve done it twice and it’s a great atmosphere, relaxed but competitive race meeting. There are a bunch of great teams and drivers, but also some really good support categories. It’s a great weekend out.”

The Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour will be held on the Easter long weekend on April 15-17.