News Team TRT January 16, 2023 (Comments off) (316)

Bates Love Reynolds for 12 Hours

TONY BATES will make the switch to Mercedes-AMG and join Volante Rosso Motorsport for a strong campaign at the 2023 LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour.

The experienced Victorian, a regular contender in GT racing and a former Pro-Am champion in Carrera Cup Australia, will tackle Australia’s International Enduro with a new Mercedes AMG GT3 this February 3-5.

The team has also secured an elite pair of co-drivers to aid Bates’ chances at success in the Bausele Watches Pro-Am class.

Supercars hero David Reynolds and Aussie International Jordan Love will partner Bates this year, adding significant firepower to the team and the race.

The car will feature backing from Makita and C-Tech Laser, plus a host of Bates’ regular long-term backers, for their 12-Hour campaign.

It is the first of two entries for the Sydney-based Volante Rosso Motorsport team, with the sister Harrolds Volante Rosso entry also entered.

2023 will represent Bates’ fifth 12-Hour start, having previously contested the race aboard a Porsche GT3 Cup Car, an Aston Martin DB9 and twice in his existing Audi R8 LMS.

He, along with Reynolds and Cameron Waters, finished 11th outright in 2022 – having sat in 4th place for much of the race until a tyre issue put them many laps down and out of contention.

Reynolds’ makes his 7th 12-Hour start this year, five of them coming aboard Mercedes-AMG GT3 products.

He qualified second quickest in 2019, prior to the Top-10 shootout, driving an Erebus Motorsport-run AMG GT3.

Love, the 2019 Carrera Cup Australia Champion, moved to Europe to follow his international racing ambitions and has spent his recent career racing Mercedes-AMG products.

He returned to Australia in the final round of the GT World Challenge Endurance Championship at Mount Panorama last year, racing the Harrolds Volante Rosso entry with Ross Poulakis.

Love claimed the quickest time in the Pro driver qualifying session and helped the team to third on the grid overall, before finishing third outright in the three-hour race.

This will be his first start in the 12-hour in GT3 machinery.

Volante Rosso Motorsport will announce their second 12-Hour contender later this week.

The team enjoyed a strong season in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia season last year, fielding the Harrolds Racing entries in both GT3 and GT4.

This year marks their 12-Hour debut and their first event running as a two-car GT3 outfit.

TONY BATES

“It’s exciting and refreshing for me heading to the Bathurst 12 Hour this year,” Bates said.

“The transition to Mercedes-AMG was a big decision however I felt it was time for a change in surroundings this year both with team and car.

“I’ve been with Audi for several years and I love the car and MPC were great to race with, but I felt it was time for a change. New environment, new car has reinvigorated me after a tough 2022 on and off the field.

“To say I am excited is an understatement. I’m champing at the bit to start 2023 and there’s no better way than the B12hr.

“It’s an exciting team. Dave is a good mate and a great driver and we’ve driven together a lot.

“Jordan has been in AMGs for some time now and is a fantastic young talent, he showed last year what he could do.

“The car looks fantastic with the Makita livery and will really stand out. It’s an exciting time and I can’t wait to get there.”

DAVID REYNOLDS

“Looking forward to it – the best away to start the year is the 12 Hour in dream machine cars,” Reynolds said.

“I think I kind of understand that car (the Mercedes-AMG GT3) more than the Audi – The AMG I’ve been relatively speedy in before.

“It might suit Tony a bit better as well. Having Jordan Love come in as the gun for hire means he’ll probably do most and I’ll just do the afternoon shift and enjoy it!

“Batesy is awesome, we’ve been good friends for a long time. To share a car with him is fun, he’s a great storyteller and good to hang out with.

“Pro-Am is about the Amateur racing and no so much about the Pro, it’s all about setup for the Am, give him a comfortable car to drive and work on his own racing. I really like watching that happen.”

JORDAN LOVE

“This will be my first 12 Hour in a GT3 car and I’m super excited,” Love said.

“I’ve done it a few times bit not in a GT3 car. To do it in a car I’ve gained quite a lot of experience in will be good. I got a teaser at the end of last year in the 3 hours so I’m pretty pumped to be heading there.

“To have the 12 Hour back at the start of the year where it belongs and with a strong field is going to be great.

“To be teaming up with Batesy and Reynolds means we’ve not only got a strong line-up, but will have a good time doing it too.. I’m super pumped.

“The car was mega at the 3 hour and I got a long with everyone at the team really well. They’re a great bunch of guys and I’m super keen to be back with them for a second race at the big one.”

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