Florian Strauss places 2nd in the Australian Bathurst 12 Hour Race
BATHURST, Australia (February 8, 2016) – The 2014 GT Academy Germany champion, Florian Strauss just missed taking the championship at the famed Bathurst 12 Hour race held at the Mount Panorama Circuit in New South Wales, Australia. Strauss, who won the overall title last year, came in 2nd driving for the NISMO Athlete Global Team.
Strauss teamed up with fellow drivers Katsumasa Chiyo and former Australian V8 Super Car Series Champion Rick Kelly, in the No. 1 Nissan GT-R racecar. The opposition was especially strong this year, with the likes of the McLaren 650S and Audi R8 sharing the grid, and things were even made more difficult with the team’s less-than-stellar showing in qualifying. Because of bad tire selection, the NISMO Athletic Global Team started the race in 13th position.
“Everyone on the team was a little bit disappointed, but we were pretty sure our race pace would be much faster than our qualifying lap showed,” Strauss said.
And he was right. Once the green flag dropped, Strauss and his teammates showed their mettle as they worked their way to the front of the pack after just one hour into the race. But the flow of the contest was interrupted several times when the safety car appeared, causing all the teams to constantly dive into the pits under yellow. With numerous lead changes, it was anyone’s guess which team had the upper hand. With only one hour left, the No. 1 GT-R dove into the pits, giving up the lead to the No. 59 McLaren, which built up its lead to 10 seconds. Just as it seemed as if the McLaren was going to cruise to the checkered flag, the No. 1 GT-R, with Chiyo at the wheel, made a remarkable charge. He cut the lead down to five seconds, pushing the car to its very limits, even rubbing it on the wall a few times, and then on the final lap, got right up on the McLaren’s rear bumper. Unfortunately, he was unable to make the final pass and crossed the finish line in 2nd place, just 1.276 seconds behind the McLaren.
“Chiyo tried every single thing, but I am sure next year we will have another attempt and try to win again,” Strauss said.
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