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Bathurst 24 Hours – Rollcentre Round Up
Spurle, Lamb, Pearce & Short - And All The Others

Teams come together and either work or they don’t. This one – not just the four drivers of course – came together for a few short days at Bathurst, and worked brilliantly. From Darrell on logistics, his mum on catering, Ralf Rupprecht on management Australian style, Morgan Short on being a child, Mrs. Short on child occupation skills … you get the idea, it needs these good people and a whole lot more to make a race weekend at Bathurst work effectively.

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Throw in more than the occasional medical problem, some of the most bizarre weather imaginable, some of the finest driving imaginable, and a great result against some very tough competition – and this was almost the perfect conclusion to a Rollcentre season of considerable note.

Tom Herridge had become British GT Champion of course, Martin Short, Tom and Joao Barbosa had won the Spa 1000 Kms (with the Bathurst car), and here was a second trip to another of the world’s greatest tracks.

We’ve covered the daily incidents in some detail, largely within our general race coverage – mainly because with such an intensive thrash over three days of track action, time was always of the essence for everyone involved, dsc included.

So let’s wrap it up with some thoughts from each of the four people who had to do the toughest job: guiding the Mosler MT900R around The Mountain.

Pat Pearce: “The car felt as solid, apart from the odd little vibration, when I last got out of it as when I first drove it on Friday. I had the unusual pleasure of a torrential downpour on the first two occasions I got into the car in the race, so it’s a good job I like the wet. Add in losing a wheel, without even realising it, and I think I’ve had the full experience.”

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Charles Lamb: “I was feeling under the weather the first time I got in the car during the race, and unfortunately, in that situation you can’t just stop. They brought me in under the safety car, and going more slowly with less air flow in the car probably made me feel worse. I probably looked worse than I was, but my blood pressure was all over the place, and having been sick in the car, I ended up in the medical centre for some treatment.

“I ate plenty of pasta before my stints today (Sunday), and with my fluid levels up, I felt much better, and relaxed much more in the car. I was very pleased with consistent 2:19s, with a best lap of 2:17.5. It was much more competitive than last year, and although we didn’t get a podium this time, I’d love to do it again.”

Heather Spurle: “Really, I’d won the race just to be here. That was a tall task, but with the help of the whole team, it was a huge accomplishment to play a part in what the team achieved. I became fast enough to be part of the team, and ended up driving six to six and a half hours in the race. To end up fifth in the Bathurst 24 Hours, one of the greatest races in the world of this type, well, it’s one of the greatest races I’ve ever been involved in.”

Martin Short: (We covered his medical dramas of Wednesday and Thursday in the build up to the race. That wasn’t the end of them.) “It’s odd the way you can pull things together when you have to. I felt much better by the time of the start of the race, but by Sunday morning, I was hoping to find some real form in the car: I wanted to show what the car and I could do together. Not being totally fit after all the eye dramas, it was tough doing a double stint, but when I saw you at the pit stop after one stint, I thought you would probably have noticed those times. (Martin was the fastest man in the race, until the Monaros went for it at the end). “Maybe I could have set a 2:14, but three laps in the 15s was a great feeling. But in the second part of the double, my arms and then my legs started cramping up. I literally fell, and was then pulled, out of the car – and had to go to the medical centre again, to have two litres of ‘go-juice’ put back into me.

“But we made it. It’s been an extraordinary season, but we proved a lot to a lot of people. David Brabham calls the early morning stint ‘happy hour’, and I know what he means. That made me very happy. We can enjoy a couple of weeks off now, in Australia, and then go home to prepare for next year.”

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