RAM Motorsport driver Michael Sheargold has the chance to join an illustrious club when he lines up on the grid for Easter’s Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour.
Sheargold will be chasing his third Bathurst 6 Hour Class A1 win in a row, and could therefore add his name to the list of drivers who have achieved victory in three successive endurance races at Bathurst – a list that includes the likes of Peter Brock, Jim Richards, Larry Perkins, Craig Lowndes, Jamie Whincup and Jules Gounon.
Once again, Sheargold will drive the RAM Motorsport Mercedes A45 AMG, run by the well-resourced GWR Australia squad. He will be partnered by fellow GT racer Brett Hobson and Carrera Cup ace Dylan O’Keeffe – both drivers have contributed to RAM Motorsport’s two class wins, with Hobson driving the car in 2021 and O’Keeffe on board last year.
Sheargold is looking forward to the pursuit of a third class victory but is not expecting it to be an easy endeavour.
“When you look at all the endurance races at Bathurst, there aren’t many drivers who have won three in a row and that’s because of the unpredictable curve balls the Mountain can throw at you,” Sheargold said.
“In 2021, we were very lucky to fight back for the class win and seventh outright after an early puncture – we almost went a lap down but the GWR crew made some brilliant strategic decisions to get us back in the game.
“Last year was even better – we managed to finish fourth outright after Dylan wrung every last tenth out of the car in qualifying, and some more smart strategy kept us on the lead lap all day.
“To be honest, last year will be hard to top from an outright perspective – we would need a lot of luck to go our way to finish on the overall podium, so our focus is very much on the class situation.”
Sheargold will also be tackling another challenge for the first time: the challenge of doing double duty on a race weekend. He will be combining his Bathurst 6 Hour campaign with his commitments in GT World Challenge Australia, where he will drive the RAM Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT3 alongside Garth Walden.
“It will be the first time I’ve had to adapt between two completely different cars on the same weekend, so I know if will be a challenge. Planning and preparation will be the key to ensure I’m comfortable and focused across both categories,” Sheargold said.
“Brett will be in a similar position, competing in both categories, but Dylan doesn’t have any other duties this year so he will be able to devote his attention to the 6 Hour.”
Hobson and O’Keeffe are both looking forward to returning to the event.
“Mike and I are great mates and I was part of the 2021 class win, so it would be awesome to add another one to the tally,” Hobson said.
“I’ve already had a Bathurst 12 Hour class win this year, so it would be nice to have 12 Hour and 6 Hour class wins in the same year,” O’Keeffe added.
“Mount Panorama is the sort of track where any seat time is valuable, so it will be more good preparation for my fourth Bathurst 1000 start in October.”
The race will be shown live on Stan Sport.
2023 Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour Schedule
Friday, 7 April
9:15am – Practice 1 (60 min)
4:10pm – Practice 2 (60 min)
Saturday, 8 April
8:45am – Practice 3 (40 min)
1:35pm – Qualifying 1 (20 min)
2:15pm – Qualifying 2 (20 min)
Sunday, 9 April
8:45am – Warm-up (20 min)
11:45am – Bathurst 6 Hour (6 hr)