It may be getting close to Christmas - and heading towards the middle of winter back in Europe - but ol' DB is still racing, albeit in the somewhat warmer climes of the fast approaching Australian summer.

Just in case anyone thought I might be getting stale on a diet of sportscars and Australian V8 Supercars, I have decided to combine elements of both this weekend, driving a Ferrari 360 Modena around the fantastic track that is Mount Panorama as I line up for the second Bathurst 24 Hours.

After working with Cirtek Motorsport last year, Rob Schirle and I kept in contact over the year to try put another deal together. He rang a few weeks ago and said an opportunity might be coming up to drive a Ferrari 360, so we kept in touch.

Rob rang back the Monday before the Le Mans 1000km and asked if I still wanted to go and, although at that time I said that I couldn't because I was going to America for a test, he then rang me on the Friday and asked me again, because they were really keen for me to be a part of the line-up. My situation had changed by then and a deal was done.

Now I am looking forward to going back home for the 24 Hours, even though I have made two trips 'down under' very recently for my outings in the endurance rounds of the V8 Supercar series.

It was such a great event last year, and I know that this year is going to be even bigger. The Bathurst track is an awesome place and the organisers did a fantastic job for the first time. But, then again, why should I be surprised? Aussie always put on good events!

I came close to winning with Cirtek last year, when we fielded a Porsche, and I think I have a good chance with the Ferrari. Last year was disappointing because we led most of the race until the 18th hour before suffering a mechanical failure. Then my team-mate crashed passing a slower car.... However, the Ferrari I am racing this weekend won the 1000km at Le Mans the other week, so I am hoping for a good result.

As yet, I have not had the chance to drive the 360, as it has been on its way to Australia almost ever since winning at Le Mans. The first chance I will get to drive it will be in first practice for the 24 Hours.

My co-drivers for the event will be Klaus Engelhorn, Philipp Peter and Andrea Montermini, and I will take a little time to get to know them before the weekend gets underway. I already know Andrea a little bit because he drove for Simtek in Formula One with me in 1994, but I don't really know the other guys.

I have a lot to shoot for this weekend, as my last two visits to Bathurst have not gone entirely to plan. First, there was the disappointment of last year's 24 hours and, then, the V8 race there was also a real shame. I was driving with Max Wilson in the Bob Jane T-marts 1000, and it was a real blast while we were running. The DJR team were great guys to work with, but the result refused to come our way.

I am looking forward to making amends this time.

DB

 

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