The 2014 motorsport season has got off to a good start for Ferrari and its 458 GT. After victory in the GTD class at the recent Rolex 24 at Daytona, yesterday it took an overall win in the Bathurst 12 Hour event, the most important event on the Australian endurance racing calendar.

The victory went to the Bello Rosso car crewed by former Scuderia Ferrari driver Mika Salo and drivers from the local V8 Supercars series Craig Lowndes, Peter Edwards and John Bowe. After their win, the drivers dedicated the victory to the late Allan Simonsen, who had flown the flag for the Bello Rosso squad so often, including at Bathurst, who tragically died at last year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.

It was a heart-stopping finale as Lowndes in the Ferrari crossed the line just four tenths ahead of a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 fielded by HTP Motorsport. The race had to be neutralized twenty minutes from the end, which wiped out the lead the Australian had built up previously, turning the finish into a two way sprint. Third place went to Erebus Motorsport, also fielding an SLS AMG GT3, and a McLaren 12C GT3 fielded by Darrell Lea finished a respectable fourth.

Unfortunately for Nissan, racing the first factory GT-R in top-level Australian motorsport in more than two decades, its hopes ended with a crash of its GT-R NISMO GT3 on lap 59. Japanese driver Katsumasa Chiyo was behind the wheel when he made heavy impact with a Ferrari 458 GT from team Clearwater. Fortunately there were no injuries, but significant damage to the car meant Nissan’s campaign was over.


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