When the MARC Cars Australia first-generation racers were built back in time for the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour, the Queensland-based team decided on identifying its race cars via an alternative to chassis numbers.
“We decided to have a bit of fun and create some identities with the cars, so we named them after famous circuits that we had competed at,” said team owner and MARC creator Ryan McLeod.
“We started with the A car which was Amaroo, and all this time it has been owned by Keith Kassulke until only recently. Then B was Bathurst, C was Catalunya and we have built cars right up to Monza, so that’s 13 bodies between the Ford Focus V8 and the Mazda 3 V8 which we debuted here at Bathurst in 2015.”
However, with extensive redevelopment required for the second-generation MARC II V8s, a different approach was taken in identifying the new Queensland-built Class I race cars, in which three are debuting at this weekend’s 2018 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
“We wanted to do something along the same lines and particularly when we travel overseas for the endurance races we want a bit of a story to tell with each car,” added McLeod. “So because I love Australian rock bands, this weekend we’re debuting the A car which we’ve called AC/DC, the C car is Cold Chisel and the D car is Daddy Cool. The B car, Bee Gees, is built as well but that will be going to an overseas customer.”
Despite the introduction of the MARC II V8s, McLeod adds that his team will continue to build the first generation Ford and Mazda-bodied versions to create a two-tier class within its motorsport program. While four more MARC II V8s are on their way to be completed.
Long-standing MARC racer Keith Kassulke, was the previous owner of the #91 MARC Focus V8 “Amaroo” in which he won Class I honours last year with teammates Rod Salmon and Will Brown. However, now the PNG-based driver owns the MARC II V8 “A” car AC/DC still under the #91 competition number.
“Keith has been instrumental in getting the Gen II program going and was the first to sign up to the MARC II program,” added McLeod. “It’s not a little job to build a cars like these and it’s a genuine product of the team as a whole. It’s the crew, the car owners, my ideas, and a pooling of resources, and we couldn’t do this if we didn’t have the first generation MARC car because there are so many systems that we can put in these new cars that work so well already.”
McLeod further explains the history behind the MARC II concept and how instrumental the Bathurst 12 Hour event has been to the development of the MARC Car program.
“I’ve been wanting to build the new Gen II cars for the last two seasons but manufacturing a body like this is very, very difficult,” admitted McLeod. “We couldn’t just do it from scratch out of nothing. The original car was based off a car that we found and developed, whereas this has been designed from the ground up, taking all the things we know and like from the existing car but then making this fully purpose-built to race overseas.
“But to be honest, without the Bathurst 12 Hour event itself none of this would happen because we wouldn’t have anywhere to race them in Australia under the conditions we need to ensure they’re successful overseas as well.”
2018 sees MARC Cars Australia again field the largest driving team at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, with 22 drivers and seven cars entered across two classes. A racecar manufacturing concept that was born four years ago in Queensland, MARC Cars Australia is the reigning Class I Champions at the Bathurst 12 Hour.
For more information head to www.marccarsaustralia.com.au