McLaren trio celebrate debut 650S GT3 Bathurst victory


After a terrific battle throughout the 2016 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, the Tekno Autosports team triumphed, with Shane van Gisbergen, Alvaro Parente and Jonathan Webb securing victory by less than two seconds at the end of the twelve hours.

Van Gisbergen started in charging fashion, pulling out an early lead, before returning to the car for the final stint to keep the Nissan of defending champions Katsumasa Chiyo, Rick Kelly and Florian Strauss behind.

Parente and Webb both had strong stints, keeping the #59 McLaren 650S GT3 in contention, and the trio were able to celebrate the cars first win on its Bathurst debut after 297 gruelling laps of the legendary Australian circuit, although there was a moment of panic when the car stopped on track for almost forty-seconds before restarting.

“It was a pretty long day,” said van Gisbergen, who was also forced to take a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane. “The first stint was really awesome, I really enjoyed myself out there. It was pretty tough, I had never driven around here in the dark and we didn’t have our big lights on so couldn’t see much.

“After a few laps I started pushing but there were kangaroos coming out and there were warnings every lap so, I am a Kiwi and I am not used to that either! When I saw the car stop going to the last corner, I was heart in mouth, but thankfully it re-fired and gave us no more issues for the rest of the day.

“At the end, we had the Nissan covered, no need to do a 2’02 when you have a 15-second lead. But it was a pretty cool way to finish as well.”

Credit: McLaren Automotive
Credit: McLaren Automotive

Team-mate Parente praised both his team-mates for all of their work over the weekend, with the team having started from pole position as well as winning the race.

“That was fantastic, I don’t know what to say; thanks to my two team-mates, Shane and Jon, they have been fantastic all week,” said Parente.

“What a fantastic track you guys have here. I really enjoyed it and was on the pace quickly. That is always important. We had a few issues today, but at the end we went with the right strategy options and everything went smoothly. I couldn’t be happier.”

Webb rates the triumph as the biggest of his career so far, and thanked his team-mates for the ‘fantastic’ job they did across the twelve hours despite the issues they faced.

“This probably is the biggest win of my career,” said Webb. “To go out there on the podium at Bathurst is massive; a huge thanks to these guys and all the crew.

“For Tekno to debut with the McLaren GT and come away with a win is a huge thing for me. It was fantastic to come back here with Shane and we had our third man here this weekend, who has done an awesome job. He certainly picked up quick. Both the guys did an awesome job.”