Eric Constantinidis’ prediction that his team Our Kloud-UpTo11Motorsport were capable of a top-10 finish came very close to reality in a rain-soaked and fog-shrouded Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour endurance race last weekend. The Greek-Australian’s car finished a creditable 13th overall in an incident packed race.
Mr Constantinidis’ Type 991.2 Porsche GT3 Cup car which he drove with Aaron Zerefos and Carrera Cup race driver Indiran Padayachee finished second in the Porsche class and the drivers shared the podium with the winning Porsche team led by Aussie racing great Craig Lowndes.
“It was a very tricky race with heavy rain and fog,” said Aaron Zerefos of conditions that were constantly changing as they raced on the 6.3 km-long Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit at Bathurst. Over the 12 hours of Australia’s premier international endurance race, the drivers and car covered 1,200km over 201 gruelling, concentration-demanding and energy-sapping laps.
“Bathurst threw everything it had us. I was exhausted just from the concentration that was needed in those conditions. Every time, I got into the car it rained” said Mr Zerefos who shared the driving with Mr Constantinidis and Mr Padayachee.
The team won qualification in the weekend’s first session but things did not go as well in the second session when the car hit the wall necessitating a long night to get it race ready for the 5.15 am start on Sunday.
The team qualified to start at 15 on the grid.
“The crash in qualifying was tough, the (technical) team put in a late night, but they managed it and the car proved reliable right to the end of the race,” Mr Zerefos told Neos Kosmos.
“We had hoped for a top-10 finish, but just missed it coming in at 13 but we had a podium finish to share with an Aussie race legend Craig Lowndes,” said Mr Zerefos.
There were six Porsches that started the weekend and Mr Constantinidis’ car qualified for the main race. Mr Lowndes’ Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia team came in 11th overall.
The race was won by Jules Gounon of the SunEnergy1 Racing team in a Mercedes-AMG. The German marque earned a clean sweep of the podium finishes.
James Kondouris drove the Supabarn Audi R8 EVO II to finish ninth overall. His brother, Theo who had been involved in a crash in qualifying did not race, but the car was made ready in time for Sunday’s event.
For Zerefos, it was another podium finish to go with his third placing in Class C of last month’s Bathurst 6 hour.
“The last two races with two podium finishes means I am definitely on the radar but I do not want to get ahead of myself. I will be going to race for an American-Greek team in the Daytona 24 later in the year.