THE PORSCHE 911 GT3-R that so famously delivered the brand their first major success at Mount Panorama will return to Australia later this year – to stay.
WORDS: Bathurst 12 Hour IMAGES: Porsche / supplied
Sydney racer Paul Tresidder has purchased the car that, in the hands of Dennis Olsen, Dirk Werner and Aussie Matt Campbell, charged from fourth to the lead in the final hour of the 2019 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12-Hour.
It was Porsche’s first outright win in Australia’s International Enduro, finally adding the iconic event to their trophy case that includes essentially every other GT or Sports Car ‘major’ on the calendar.
A long-term exponent of the famous German marque, Tresidder was competing in the race with team Porsche Carrera Cup Asia – finishing second in Class B and 19th outright.
As the race built towards it’s thrilling finish, Tresidder was watching from his own pit garage as Campbell hauled the Earl Bamber Motorsport-prepared car through the field.
Following the Bathurst triumph, the car was flown to Germany and placed on display in the Porsche museum.
However, following his purchase of the car from Porsche last month, Tresidder has confirmed the car will ultimately return to Australia.
“I was there in our pits watching the last hour of the race unfold. Whilst all three drivers contributed to the end result, for me however the stand out drive of the day was Matt Campbell with three overtaking moves in the last hour of the race the best I have ever seen,” Tresidder explained.
“I was also competing in the same race with the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia team so lots of good memories are associated with this epic win. As an Australian, I wanted to bring the car back home.”
Tresidder was presented the car last month in the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Campbell on hand to ‘hand over the keys’ to the car.
Despite his longstanding relationship with the Porsche brand, Tresidder said he initially didn’t think he would be able to purchase the black GT3R, with the iconic Silver Fern along its flanks.
“I thought I wouldn’t stand a chance of being able to secure the car, having won the 12-Hour,” he explained.
“However after the race I caught up with Alex Gibot (Head of Porsche Motorsport in the Asia-Pacific region) and told him I would like to buy it. Alex knows my history with PCCA (Carrera Cup Asia) and my love of Porsche, plus the car would be coming home to Australia and properly looked after.
“Alex started the process by contacting Porsche in Stuttgart and got the ball rolling, and fortunately we were successful.”
Currently still in Germany, the car will begin a long journey home later this year via a stop at the Porsche Sports Cup China in October – a significant event in the region which will also feature several Porsche Museum cars on show on and off the track.
After driving the car for the first time in Shanghai, the car will return to Australia where Tresidder plans to utilise it as it was designed.
“I will race it lightly, probably the first event will be Bathurst at Easter 2020,” he confirmed.
“The now-famous livery will stay, the only change will be to wipe off the sticky remains of Champagne and, according to Matt, some Bundy and Coke!”
With multiple starts to his credit in the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour plus an extensive CV competing around the world, Tresidder says the 12-Hour is well established as one of the world’s great races.
“If you talk to any race driver around the world, the Bathurst 12 Hour is up there now with all the famous distance races,” he said.
“I can’t tell you how many people (drivers) from around the world I speak to all want to race Bathurst. With the live streaming around the world people were glued in particular to Porsche and the last hour of the race.
“I hope Porsche goes on to win many more Bathurst 12 Hour races – however this race and this win for Porsche has a great meaning for the brand and definitely for me personally. It also bears mentioning that this was Earl Bamber Motorsport’s first attempt running two factory cars. For him and his team to get a first time win, and a first time win for Porsche, it doesn’t get much better.”
Tickets and Camping are now on sale for the 2020 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.