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Rollcentre – Short’s Plan
We love a good story at dailysportscar – and M. Short usually provides one. He certainly did at the inaugural Bathurst 24 Hours: in summary, buy a Mosler (become the European importer), give it a maiden run in British GTs, then a longer one in Belcar – then off to the first Bathurst 24 Hours, where it finished second overall, and very nearly won.

dailysportscar.comThe Rollcentre Mosler story since then has been a fascinating and successful one, culminating in Tom Herridge winning the 2003 British GT Championship title. That included the victory (the first for a Rollcentre Mosler) at the race of the season (certainly anywhere in Europe) – the Spa 1000 Kilometers. Joao Barbosa was outstanding that day (when isn’t he?) and we’d anticipate him having a Rollcentre role in 2004…. We certainly hope so.

Not at Bathurst though: the crew in the X-Markets Deutsche Bank car is Short himself, Heather Spurle, Charles Lamb and Patrick Pearce. Charles drove last year, Heather is a celebrity in her own right ‘down under’, Patrick Pearce is a British GT Cup Champion and – and Short needs no introduction here at all. Here's three-quarters of the team at Donington in early October. Change Xavex to X-Markets, and add a Charles Lamb.

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The MT900R for Bathurst is the silver Spa chassis, so there’s a good omen. This one was flown in from Florida for that race, and then won the last British round at Brands Hatch. Apart from a run out in a Britcar race, it is unbeaten since arriving in Europe. Warren Mosler and Martin Short make a heady combination of determined characters – and they’re both winners.

So what’s the Bathurst plan, Martin?

“We’ll be a little on the back foot as regards the pace we’d like to run, because any team racing so far from home is bound to have a slight concern over number of spare parts. But we’ve got a very competent driver line-up: we’re not a car full of Ortellis, but we are a strong privateer effort.

dailysportscar.com“We’ll follow the plan we used last year. We’ll set a reasonable pace, which will be faster than we ran in 2002, because the Mosler has been developed a lot this year. We had to be conservative last year. We’ll be less so next week.”

It was after Daytona this year that the Rollcentre team really worked on the set up, getting the coupe to use its tyres better than it originally did. It was so gentle on its rubber a year ago, they almost wouldn’t wear out! Expect them to wear rather faster from the moment the track opens at Bathurst this time. The MT900R will use Yokohamas for the first time.

“We won’t run as fast as the ‘Brabhams’ in the race, but we proved last year that ultimate pace isn’t everything.”

The Monaros are of course going to be serious challengers for the overall win (again), but expect a slightly slower pace from the (even bigger) V8s this year: they won’t run with the 720 bhp the Garry Rogers car won with last year.

Martin Short also has his eye on the five litre BMW M3 of John Bowe, Brad Jones and friends: “I raced against an identical car in the Grand Am race at Phoenix, and everything about it was outstanding.”

Preparation of the MT900R will doubtless match that, and this Rollcentre team is now very experienced in 24 hour races with Moslers – besides experience gained with TVRs. There should be some stories to tell about this entry, and we’ll bring as many as we can to your attention next week. Ralf Ruprecht of Ruprecht Motorsport will be managing the Australian end of the effort this time.

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