> Kiwi joins Dennis and Kelly for Intercontinental’s season opener
> Latest spec Aston Martin to make Mount Panorama debut
Five-time IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon will headline R-Motorsport’s all-star Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour line-up early next year.
The Swiss squad, which contested the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli season opener last February before making further appearances at Spa and Kyalami, has confirmed two Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3s for Australia’s international enduro on January 31-February 2.
The model will also make its Mount Panorama debut after being homologated too late for 2019’s event where R-Motorsport entered two previous-generation Vantages instead.
Dixon is one of IndyCar’s biggest stars as well as its most successful driver thanks to more overall titles and race wins than anyone else. He also won America’s greatest race, the Indianapolis 500, in 2008 and has contested the Le Mans 24 Hours on four occassions. However, 2020 will be the first time the Kiwi has ever raced at Mount Panorama or driven a GT3 car competitively.
“I have never raced at Bathurst before, but I’ve watched races at the Mount Panorama Circuit back when I was a teenager,” he said. “What I like most about the circuit is the high commitment, especially across the top, the high speed passages and then down The Chase and all the way to the last corner. It’s much like a street course with the concrete walls and the very confined spots. You need an extremely good flow.
“I’ve done GT racing as such with the four Le Mans 24 Hours races and other endurance events, but never GT3. I love doing the long distance races. It complements quite well with the IndyCar series at the moment to do Daytona 24h and Sebring 12h, but also Petit Le Mans, which was the first endurance race I did back in 1999.”
The 39-year-old is joined by two drivers with plenty of Bathurst experience. 2006 V8 Supercars champion Rick Kelly is a two-time Bathurst 1000 winner, while DTM ace Jake Dennis set fastest time in 2019’s 12 Hour Pirelli Pole Shootout driving R-Motorsport’s previous-generation Aston Martin.
The team will confirm its second driver line-up in due course.
Meanwhile, R-Motorsport’s Anglo-Antipodean crew have been testing their new Castrol/BP-liveried Vantage in Portugal ahead of the trip Down Under next year. It represents a significant departure from R-Motorsport’s previous grey and blue colour scheme, which has adorned its GT3 and DTM entries in recent years.