Yasser and Sam Shahin of the Bend Motorsport Park will take on the 2020 Bathurst 12 Hour with Triple Eight Race Engineering, fielding the #777 Mercedes-AMG GT3.
It will be the second time ever that the brothers have paired up for a race, the Pro/AM entry being completed by Australians Nick Foster and Anton de Pasquale. While Yasser has two starts at the event under his belt, most recently in the same AMG, Sam will be making his debut.
“Bathurst is a world class race track and this is one of the few world class events in Australia. We are thrilled to participate in, learn from and compete in this amazing event” said Yasser talking at The Bend during today's test session.
It will also mark the first time that Triple Eight has entered the Bathurst 12 Hour with a completely independent entry, having teamed up with other GT operations in 2017 and 2019, finishing first and fourth respectively. The crew will be comprised entirely of Triple Eight personnel, looking after every aspect of car preparation and performance.
“Triple Eight are perfectionists which fits right in with our culture. I’m thrilled they are supporting us with a great result squarely in our sights” said Sam.
For both Foster and de Pasquale, it will be the first time that either driver has worked with Triple Eight. An experienced international GT racer, Foster has twice before taken on the Bathurst 12 Hour.
“As an Australian GT driver, being entered into the 12 Hour is a massive honour and privilege,” said the 27-year-old.
“Then on top of this, being teamed up with a world-class team, drivers and motoring enthusiasts is a very special opportunity. The Shahins are both great wheel-men, records and pace show in many different categories, so I’m quite confident leading into the race that they will hit the ground running.
“Joining Triple Eight is both very exciting and immensely rewarding. Results prove the operation, so it’s a pleasure to be involved in that environment and work towards a common goal. In the sister car, I also look forward to working with a good mate and fellow Apex Hunter in Shane.
“I’ve been lucky enough to sample and race the AMG GT3 in Texas only a few months ago and I had a great experience and feeling behind the wheel. At this year’s Bathurst 12 Hour I had great speed at the mountain so I’ll look to carry that forward into 2020 and fingers crossed the race rolls our way.”
Despite only having taken on the Bathurst 12 Hour once before, de Pasquale is no stranger to the mountain thanks to his years in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
“I did the race this year in a MARC car. Although not as fast as a GT3 car, it was still different to a supercar, so that puts me in a good stead,” he said.
“The 12 Hour and the Bathurst 1000 are completely different events, but in a way very similar because they’re both very fast-paced, high-intensity endurance races. A lap around the circuit in any car is awesome, so I’m really looking forward to 12 hours of it.
“It’s really exciting to be teaming up with a good group of drivers and a top line team. Any time you get to head to Bathurst is always special, so I’m really pumped to be a part of it. Triple Eight has done so much, so to be able to see that from the other side will be really cool.”
The 2020 Bathurst 12 Hour, which forms the first round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, takes place from 31 January to 2 February.