The HVG Graphics Media sponsored The Boat Works Racing BMW M4 GT4 of Tony Longhurst, Aaron Seton and Matthew Brabham claimed Class C victory at the Bathurst 12 Hour Endurance race on Sunday February 4.
Longhurst announced his retirement from racing live on national television during the race. The veteran racer and two young rising stars dominated the race to win by four laps over their nearest rivals.
“To finish 12 hours up here without as much as a scratch on the car, not even a stone chip, is so impressive,” said Longhurst.
“Matt and Aaron did a perfect job and I was sensible the whole day through and we got the job done.
“We put a lot of work in with a three-month preparation with our Team Manager Steve Brow. We had a plan in place and we stuck to it and it paid off.
Longhurst climbed aboard the car for its final stint with just under an hour left of the race, though admitted that was never part of the plan.
It created a fitting finale to Longhurst’s career, which saw him claim victory at the Bathurst 1000 in 1988 and 2001, and the Bathurst 12 Hour during its production car era in 2009.
“I didn’t actually want to do an afternoon stint, I wanted to get it all done in the morning, but the way it panned out I was back in the car for the last bit,” he admitted.
“I just put my head down and just did not want to make a mistake.
“I didn’t really think about the emotion of the last stint, but I am sure it will hit me in the next couple of hours.
“I was going to finish my career at the 12-hour last year, but we had the bingle in the GT3 and I just didn’t want to go out like that.
“It was fantastic to finish my career with a win in the BMW after starting my career with them.”
The fairy-tale send-off was slightly soured when the race ended under red flag, denying Longhurst the opportunity to take the chequered flag one last time.However, it did mark Brabham’s first Bathurst victory, in his maiden appearance, having never even visited the circuit before.
It makes him the third generation Brabham to claim victory at the mountain, while for Seton it was his second class win around the Mount Panorama circuit.
“We had a faultless weekend, the whole weekend, and it couldn’t have gone any better. It’s rare that that ever happens in motor racing,” Brabham told Speedcafe.com.
“We had a lot of luck on our side, but all the guys did an awesome job as well.
“It was tight to start off with, and then we just played out our strategy to try and gain laps when the cautions came out,” he added.
“There were so many cautions that we ended up leapfrogging and getting those couple (of) laps ahead.
“Our pace in the car was pretty quick all weekend as well, so we gained a lot on strategy but also in car speed.”
The car will now be prominently displayed at the 30th Anniversary Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show in May, as well as being used for further racing and ride days.
HVG Graphics Media will shortly be running a trade promotion for customers to win hot lap rides in the car with Longhurst or Seton at the wheel.
The car was wrapped by HVG customer Print Image Signs located at The Boat Works on the Gold Coast with 3M vinyls supplied by HVG Graphics Media.
HVG Graphics Media