Monday, 03 November 2014 00:00

Lowndes/Richards to spearhead M-Motorsport assault on Highlands

The final round of the Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli is less than a week away, and already the excitement around the AGT - Highlands 101 ‘double-header’ has everyone talking. The level of anticipation amongst the teams too is high, and at Melbourne’s M-Motorsport, there is twice the excitement after the news that former V8 Supercar champion Craig Lowndes will join local star Inky Tulloch to debut the first of the new Chevrolet Camaros into the series.

Experienced competitor Tulloch joined M-Motorsport team leader Justin McMillan at Adria in Italy earlier in the year to test the Hans Reiter inspired Camaro, and the former Mayor of Mataura (NZ) and truck racing champion couldn’t contain his excitement, ordering the first of the M-Motorsport imported Camaros for the Highlands event.

“As a fan of American muscle cars, my interest peaked almost as soon as I knew about the Camaro,” McMillan admitted at the time. “Having dealt with Reiter with the purchase of our Lamborghinis, I called him almost immediately to see what we could do, and the team arranged a private session for us at the Adria Circuit in northern Italy to test the car.

“Like us, Inky was seriously impressed - it’s one of those cars that just begs to be driven, and the sound… just wait till you hear the sound!”

On his own visit to Europe, Steven Richards also had a chance to sample the Camaro, and he admitted it impressed him.

“The car was exceptional,” Richards admitted. “Very different to the Lamborghini.. I’d say the Lamborghini is more like an open-wheeler, more reliant on aero and mechanical grip, whereas the Camaro is very much like a V8 Supercar.

“The Camaro matches the Lamborghini on pace, but the way it achieves that speed is in a totally different way.

“It’s amazing how quickly it accelerates out of the slower corners,” Richards added. “What that will mean in Australia on our circuits and under our weather conditions, only time will tell, but it has proven quick in the GT Masters in one-hour races in Europe, so I’d expect that we’ll face similar situations, although with that much torque, you may need to be a little relaxed on throttle applications, as it can get onto the traction control pretty quickly.

“I also think it’s a better proposition for the gentleman driver because it’s less reliant on carrying mid-corner speed like say the Ferrari and the Lamborghini - more user-friendly.. it’s also significantly cheaper than the Italian thoroughbreds too, and that will make it more attractive to those drivers on the fringe that don’t want to make such a big investment. It also sounds incredible.. it’s arguably the sweetest sounding racecar I’ve heard in a very long time!”

Whilst Richards won’t be driving the Camaro at Highlands - he will return to the wheel of the Interlloy Gallardo alongside McMillan - Lowndes’ Red Bull Racing Australia team-mate will be back in action and looking for the M-Motorsport team’s maiden Australian GT victory after coming so close at Sandown last time out.

“We’ve had pole three times from five rounds [Richards twice, David Russell once], and made the podium at the last two rounds,” McMillan acknowledged. “Richo is coming off the back of a great run at Bathurst and the his maiden Carrera Cup title on the Gold Coast, and I’m getting more and more comfortable in the car, so I think we are capable of being on the podium again. Whether that equates to victory, I guess in a little over a week, we’ll know..”

For McMillan though, his involvement with the Camaro won’t stop after Highlands, the AGT front-runner will be back off to Adria again to shake down the newest addition to the Australian GT family..

“Not long after Highlands, I will be flying back to Italy for a shakedown of the next Camaro destined for Australia - with it’s new owner..

“Two cars are sold already, and my intention is to have three cars in Australian GT next year - it’s an exciting time.”

The final round of the Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli at Highlands Motorsport Park will conclude on Saturday, 8 November with two 40-minute races, before the second annual ‘Highlands 101’ on Sunday 9 November.

Coverage of the Highlands event will be available via each day, with a one-hour AGT/Highlands 101 package going to air on TV3 in New Zealand (23 November, 2:00pm) and a one hour package available in Australia at a date yet to be determined. Stay tuned to, to

Rnd#6 2014 Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli

Highlands Motorsport Park, Cromwell, New Zealand (7-9 November)
Schedule: [NZDT – GMT +13]

Friday, 7 November 

10:45am - Practice #1

12:30am - Practice #2

2:25pm - Qualifying

Saturday, 8 November

9:25am - warm-up

11:45am - Race#1 (40-minutes - CPS)

3:25pm - Race#2 (40-minutes - CPS)

 Sunday, 9 November

10:30am - Highlands 101 (qualifying)

1:25pm - Highlands 101 (race - 101-laps)


Keep up to date with further announcements from the M Motorsport/Interlloy race team by visiting;

Fast Facts:
2014 Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli

Pole positions: M-Motorsport x3 (Sandown, Townsville, Sandown)

Podiums: Sydney Motorsport Park, Sandown 500

2013 Lamborghini Gallardo FL2 GT3
The Reiter Engineering built Lamborghini Gallardo LP600+ (FL2) debuted in 2013 as the flagship for the Italian manufacturer in GT3 competition. Powered by a mid-mounted 5.2-litre V10 with around 600bhp, the FL2 is the last of the Gallardo line ahead of its replacement in 2015 by the new Huracan GT3.

Chevrolet Camaro GT3
The brainchild of Hans Reiter, the Camaro GT3 has been in development since 2013. Powered by a front-engined 7.9-litre Chevrolet V8, it is one of the most powerful GT3 cars in the world with almost 650bhp and 800Nm of torque. During 2014 the car has proven successful in ADAC GT Masters in Germany and is a regular podium finisher.

2014 Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli - after round five of six
1. Richard Muscat (487 points), 2. Tony Quinn (455), 3. John Bowe (388), 4. Justin McMillan (313), 5. Klark Quinn (292), 6. Peter Edwards (273), 7. Steven Richards (213), 8. Tony D’Alberto (147), 9. James Koundouris (138), 10. Ross Lilley (136)


2014 Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli

Rnd#1 - 28-30 March, Sandown, Melbourne, Victoria
Rnd#2 - 23-25 May, Phillip Island, Victoria
Rnd#3 - 4-6 July, Townsville, Queensland
Rnd#4 - 22-24 August, Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW
Rnd#5 - 12-14 September, Sandown, Melbourne, Victoria
Rnd#6 - 7-9 November, Highlands Motorsport Park, Cromwell, NZ

2015 Australian GT Championship presented by Pirelli

Rnd#1 - 26 February-1 March, Clipsal 500, Adelaide, SA
Rnd#2 - 22-24 May, Phillip Island, Victoria
Rnd#3 - 10-12 July, Townsville, Queensland
Rnd#4 - 21-23 August, Sydney Motorsport Park, NSW
Rnd#5 - 11-13 September, Sandown 500, Melbourne, Victoria
Rnd#6 - 6-8 November, Highlands Motorsport Park, Cromwell, NZ 

M-Motorsport is proudly supported by Interlloy Engineering Steels and Alloys, Australian Post Tensioning, Vibrabody and Freem.


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