VALVOLINE Jamec Pem Racing has confirmed a second all-professional driving squad for the 2018 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, doubling their chances at outright victory this February 2-4.
Supercars champion and triple Bathurst 1000 winner Garth Tander will be joined by factory Audi Sport stars Kelvin van der Linde and Frederic Vervisch, completing a strong two-car team that includes Christopher Mies, Christopher Haase and Markus Winkelhock driving the sister car.
Tander is now something of a regular with the Melbourne-based Jamec Pem team – run within the Audi Sport Customer Racing Australia outfit that will field multiple R8’s in the race this February.
As well as making selected appearances in the Australian GT Championship, Tander drove a Jamec Pem Racing Audi R8 LMS in both the 2016 and 2017 12-hour races, finishing eighth and 13th, respectively.
The 2007 Supercars Champion is a three-time winner of the Bathurst 1000 and a former winner of the Bathurst 24 Hour – but is yet to taste the podium at the 12-hour.
“It’s an awesome opportunity to be back with the factory Audi effort, I’m honoured they have asked me back again,” Tander said.
“I have great teammates in my car with Kevin and Fred and I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge of the track with them, and having them help me get the most out of the car.
“Our other team car is very strong, and it is also great to continue with Valvoline.”
Tander said he was expecting another tough Bathurst challenge this February.
“It will be a very tough race and there are lots of very strong combinations,” he said.
“The race gets bigger and tougher every year. Every opportunity to race at Bathurst is a good opportunity!”
Second-generation South African star Kelvin van der Linde has become a star of the Audi factory driver roster, particularly in Australia whilst racing with Jamec Pem Racing.
He won two races in the 2017 Australian GT Championship with Geoff Emery, ultimately finishing fourth in the championship, despite missing the final round. He also paired with Pierre Kaffer and Markus Winkelhock in an Audi R8 LMS to win the California 8 Hours, the final round of the 2017 Intercontinental GT Challenge.
31-year-old Belgian ace Vervisch races for Audi Sport Team WRT in the Blancpain GT series and the Intercontinental GT Challenge, as well as contesting the TCR International Series.
“You would be hard pressed to put together a stronger all-round driving squad,” said Valvoline Jamec Pem Racing’s Steve McLaughlan.
“Between the two cars we have a great mixture of experience, speed and Bathurst success that we hope will work in our favour this February.
“The pieces are in place for us to head to Bathurst looking for strong performances from both cars.”