March 21, 2023


By Auto Action

PremiAir Racing was one of the few teams not affected by the early carnage of the 2022 Bathurst 1000, and was able to score some strong points in its Mount Panorama debut, but not without a challenge.

James Golding put in another impressive drive in the Subway Holden Commodore alongside Dylan O’Keeffe to finish The Great Race in 12th place.

Driving the retro Coca-Cola Commodore, Chris Pither and Cameron Hill were also able to keep their noses clean, but a power-steering failure dented their ability to fight at the death, resulting in a P21 complete.

However, team owner Peter Xiberras has been just relieved to see both his cars cross the line in the squad’s first attempt at The Great Competition.

“After watching or coming to this race for 40-odd years, for a few reason today it had been the most nerve-wracking one I have ever been too, ” grinned Xiberras.

“One of the other team owners pointed something out in order to me that I probably didn’t immediately appreciate at the time – for a first ever Bathurst having both cars finished, apparently that is quite an achievement to do so, and I have to say that is a testament to the boys and girls. ”

Despite the accomplishment of having both cars mix the queue within one piece on a day that featured no less than eight safety vehicles, it could have been far better for the particular rookie outfit.

James Golding and Dylan O’Keeffe pushed the limits of their PremiAir Racing Commodore to feature within the top five of the first Bathurst 1000. Pic: Supplied

Golding plus O’Keeffe had climbed up to as high as fifth place, which would have easily been a season-best finish.

However, the flappy front bar caused significant vibrations and needed to be repaired in the pits.

The particular lap 76 stop put Golding on the back foot, but he still managed to salvage a solid 12th place, and was happy to see the chequered flag after a ‘crazy’ race.

“It was a pretty crazy day, ” he said.

“We just missed the few crashes, and we had good speed all day.  

“Dylan did an awesome job, and the group did an awesome job, it is just unfortunate with the front bar failure that we had in order to do an extra couple of stops there.  

“But we gave it our all, plus I am super proud of the whole team and just can’t wait to get to the Gold Coast now. ”

The 2022 Supercars Championship makes a three-year return to the Streets of Surfers Paradise, which will be a single-driver event for the first time since 2009.

For more from the latest motorsport news pick up the  most recent issue associated with AUTO ACTION.

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