The scene is set ahead of the opening day of track action at the 2019 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour (February 1-3).
The entire Grove Motorsport team - including drivers Stephen Grove, Brenton Grove, and Ben Barker - assembled trackside Thursday to complete final preparations on the #4 Gen II Porsche 911 GT3 Cup ahead of a massive weekend, and most importantly, Sunday’s 12 Hour marathon. Pit stop and driver change practice was on the cards for the drivers and the team today among a number of other activities.
Andi Toll from German team Herberth Motorsport is a notable addition to the Grove team this weekend, bringing a wealth of experience having crewed cars in the Blancpain GT Series. He arrives off the back of last week's Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona with Herberth Motorsport and will work closely with the Grove team at this year's Bathurst 12 Hour coordinating pit stops.
This year’s Bathurst 12 Hour is Grove Motorsport’s seventh assault on the Mountain as the patriotic Melbourne-based outfit looks to defend last year’s Class B crown and add to its tally of three wins in the Porsche Cup division.
Friday will see the team hit the circuit four times across the day, with Practice 1 set to go green at 08:50 AEDT for 30 minutes. Practice 2, the first of the hour-long sessions follows immediately after at 09:25 AEDT, before Practice 3 at 11:10 AEDT and finally the fourth outing at 15:15 AEDT.
Practice 5 takes place on Saturday morning at 08:35 before the all-important 45-minute Qualifying encounter set to get underway at 11:10 AEDT.
Stephen Grove: "This is a circuit and a race that you really need to focus on and you really need to get it all together. You do a lot of laps around a tough circuit; one of the toughest circuits in the world with a lot of fast corners. Traffic management is hugely important too and there's a lot of hours in the car over the course of the weekend and especially during the race, so it's critical that you really stay focussed."
Brenton Grove: "It's been a busy afternoon sorting things out and getting some of the final preparations done, but it should be a good weekend. We've got a list of things we need to check through tomorrow in practice and make sure everyone is comfortable in the car; seating position, belts and the set-up a bit as well. We'll try to work through that during the practice sessions tomorrow; we've got a lot of time and we've all worked together before so it shouldn't be a problem."
Ben Barker: "I'm looking forward to the weekend and getting on track - we'll build into it; as soon as you hurry your program you can get into strife. Staying out of trouble is the main aim; historically the cars have been really good and balanced here so you don't need to tune the car too much in terms of engineering which is always good because you save time. I can't wait to get out on track tomorrow for sure."