After a sabbatical in 2014, Melbourne’s Trofeo Motorsport will return to the grid for the 2015 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12-Hour, the Australian GT regulars now Ferrari mounted which will more than suit their returning star international driver Ivan Capelli.
Capelli is well know to Australian fans, and to Trofeo Motorsport for whom he has competed in the past, the Italian having a great affinity with the Ferrari product after contesting the 1992 Formula One world championship for the team as part of a career that spanned 98 grands prix between 1985 and 1993.
Now the President of the Automobile Club of Milan (that operates the famous Monza circuit), an expert F1 commentator for Italy’s RAI TV and Trofeo’s own television show ‘The Pits’, Capelli rejoins team-owner Jim Manolios and impressive newcomer Ryan Millier aboard the team’s 2012-spec Ferrari 458 Italia GT3.
“I’m looking forward to returning to Bathurst,” Capelli admitted. “I like the circuit, it really rewards commitment, however I am under no illusions about how difficult it is going to be. Since 2013 the field has become much stronger, with a number of successful high profile teams from around the world entering the event, so it is going to be a big challenge, but I am certainly looking forward to getting behind the wheel of a Ferrari again, and am looking forward to being a part of the Trofeo Motorsport team once more.”
Trofeo recently conducted a two-day shakedown of the car at Phillip Island, at the same time testing the three compounds that Pirelli will have available at Bathurst for the 12-Hour, Manolios admitting he was impressed with the durability of the softer rubber.
“We know how good the DH that we use as the control tyre for the Australian GT Championship is – it’s the tyre that shattered the GT lap record at Bathurst last year – but until now we hadn’t had a good chance to back-to-back against the DM (medium) and DS (soft) compound tyres, and they’re very impressive.
“Obviously the DH can double and if necessary triple-stint as we saw last year, and in lower temperatures – like the start of the race, or if it is heavily overcast – the DM will certainly be a fantastic option as it is potentially a quicker tyres, whilst the DS could be an inspired choice for a front row start in qualifying.”