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MG set to team up with Brock for Bathurst

It’s back: MG’s smallest model, the 1.5-litre MG3 light hatchback, will have a crack at a class win at the 2018 Bathurst Six-Hour.

Son of a gun set to mastermind MG’s racing comeback in Australia

MG logo18 Apr 2017

By RON HAMMERTON in SHANGHAI

THREE iconic automotive names – MG, Brock and Bathurst – will come together in an Australian motor racing program designed to resurrect the sporty image of the one-time British brand.

Chinese-owned MG Motor Australia (MMA) has enlisted James Brock – son of former touring car legend Peter Brock – to develop two of its models, the mid-sized MG6 and MG3 light hatchback, to contest Australian production car racing.

While the MG6 will make its racing debut in the middle of this year under the MG Motorsport banner, the longer-term plan is to prepare a team with at least one MG3 hatch to have a crack at the Bathurst Six-Hour production race next April.

The company had hoped to race in this year’s event, but ran out of time to get the cars race-ready.

MMA marketing and communications senior manager Danny Lenartic said the program was designed to re-establish the sporting credentials of MG as it made a comeback in the Australian market.

He said MG needed to be back in motor racing, not just to promote its new range of cars but also to honour the faithful MG fans who still appreciated the brand from its earlier era in Australia.

The cars will be prepared in Mr Brock’s Brock Race Engineering workshops in Melbourne.

As a race engineer, Mr Brock rose to prominence by building numerous racing utes for various customers, including himself.

No slouch behind the wheel, Mr Brock is expected to put up his hand for one of the driving seats at the Bathurst Six-Hour, with other slots still to be decided.

In the United Kingdom, MG has already substantially rebuilt its sporting image with a successful British Touring Car Championship assault in recent years.

MG is about to embark on its sixth consecutive season of BTCC racing with leading exponent, Triple Eight Racing.

In Australia, MG will use a superseded MG6 from unsold stock left over from failed previous imported, Longwell Motor, in its production car tilt starting in June.

That model has the advantage of a manual gearbox, while the newer MG6 Plus now being imported by the factory-owned distribution operation only comes with a less suitable – in racecar terms – dual-clutch transmission.

The 1.5-litre turbocharged MG3 has a choice of automatic and manual transmissions, with the manual set to take to the track.

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