TIM Leahey produced one of the most dominant drives seen at Mount Panorama when winning the 2019 Bathurst 6 Hour and now the Orange native has a title defence in mind.
It has been confirmed that Leahey will return to the Mount in April for the 2020 Bathurst 6 Hour alongside the man he won with last year in Beric Lynton.
Queenslander Lynton and Leahey scored a one-lap victory in their BMW M3 Competition last year in one of the most dominant performances seen in six-hour history.
Having earlier qualified on pole position by a comfortable margin, the duo led every lap of the race.
It meant they were the first team to win the Bathurst 6 Hour from number one on the grid.
Leahey also set the fastest lap en-route to a crushing victory - a two minutes and 27.9685-second loop - that also saw them equal race's distance record - 131 laps, 813 kilometres.
"We're good to go and while there's less pressure this year, we're coming back to back-to-back it. That's the goal. The car is the same, the drivers are good and all of the crew are coming back so all the pieces are in place," Lynton said.
The team will return with the same BMW this year and will add an identical second car to their campaign, to be fielded by experienced Production Car racers Rob Rubis, Scott Turner and Shane Smollen.
Rubis is a former class winner in the Bathurst 6 Hour, having driven his BMW 130i to a Class C victory in 2018.
"We had a second M3 sitting there so we decided to build it up and Scott, Rob and Shane will drive it really well," Lynton said.
"Shane is experienced in driving properly fast cars while the M3 will be a bit of a step up for Rob and Scott, but we'll get plenty of laps into them before Bathurst and they'll be up to speed.
"Everything we've learned from the Blue car will go into the new one and we're really looking forward to the race with two cars and a great team."
While the second M3 is brand-new, Lynton's car has received a 'birthday' in the off-season with both entries and all drivers to complete a comprehensive pre-season test at Queensland Raceway this week.
Both cars are expected to contest the opening round of the Australian Production Car Championship - which utilises the same MRF Tyres as the Bathurst 6 Hour - at Sydney Motorsport Park in late March as a Bathurst warm-up.
A change in categorisation will see the BMW M3 models compete against other similar machinery in Class X (Ultimate Performance) for the first time.
"We've gone over the car, it's had a birthday, but it hasn't run much since the race last year - just a few APC rounds which we won," Lynton said.
The regulations say we can run the same boost levels as 2019, and we have to make six stops instead of five because we're in class X now.
"We don't need the extra stop but it's what we've got and we'll work our strategy around it."
Entries to the 2020 Bathurst 6 Hour are close to capacity with less than five spots remaining prior to grid capacity being reached.
A host of new and returning cars across eight classes will contest the six-hour enduro on Easter Sunday, April 12.
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