When with the end in sight a massive crash up on Mount Panorama halted the 2018 edition of the Bathurst 12 Hours and forced race control to declare the race, Dries Vanthoor and teammates Robin Frijns and Stuart Leonard found themselves dodging a very likely final splash-and-dash that would’ve cost them the lead and with it the win. Instead, Vanthoor celebrated his first victory in a motorsports classic.
No-one would begrudge the winners today, however, as they’d been top contenders the better part of the afternoon.
WRT’s trademark professionalism with which they pushed towards victory, didn’t go unnoticed by Vanthoor.
“I think it means a lot for them [WRT], because it’s their first time out here in Australia,” he explained.
“It’s a long flight, a long travel for them. I think we gave them a good reward.
“They prepared for the race very well. The team knew what was allowed by the rules and what was not allowed. They did a great job and so did Audi, they gave us a good car to fight with in a roller coaster race.”
After narrowly missing out on the 2017 Blancpain GT Sprint Cup title, the young Vanthoor bounced back to win Australia’s most prestigious endurance race.
“Sometimes we were almost a lap down, then we had a safety car and we were right there again.
“We just kept our head down… We didn’t hit the wall—let’s put it that way—and that’s not easy here.
“We’re all really happy.”
Slade Perrins contributed to this report.