YOUNG-GUN COMBO SET FOR B6HR START

Two of the brightest young talents in Australian motorsport will aim to create history at this year’s Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour.

Lachlan Mineeff, 16 and Tom Sargent, 17, will endeavour to become the youngest driver combination to finish an endurance race at the Mount Panorama circuit, when they team up for the 6 Hour in a CHE Racing-prepared Toyota 86.

Mineeff and Sargent are best-known for their exploits in the Australian Formula Ford Championship, where they are team-mates at CHE Racing. Mineeff finished fifth in his rookie season last year, while Sargent finished second at the Tailem Bend round, and eighth in the series despite missing the first two rounds.

While both drivers will again contest the national Formula Ford series in 2019, they are hoping the endurance event will give them valuable experience in long-distance racing as well as an opportunity to race around the world-renowned circuit.

“All of the Formula Ford races are quite short – this is a chance for us to spend a longer period of time behind the wheel, and drive around one of the coolest tracks in the world,” Mineeff said.

“Lachlan and I have already spent a year working together in Formula Ford, and it will be fun to team up in the same car,” Sargent added.

“Apart from the 86 obviously having an enclosed cabin, there are major differences in driving technique between the two cars especially with ABS brakes in the 86.”

Another challenge for the youngsters will be dealing with traffic, something Mineeff says will be critical.

“In Formula Ford, all the cars are travelling at roughly the same speed, but with all the different classes in the 6 Hour, there will be big differences in lap times,” he said.

“The Toyota 86 is mid-field pace-wise, which means we’ll have to be aware of negotiating slower cars while also keeping out of the way of faster cars. It will make it a real challenge, especially at a track like Mount Panorama where there are blind corners.”

One thing in Mineeff and Sargent’s favour is the team’s pedigree; the CHE Racing outfit has vast experience with Toyota 86s, Cameron Hill holding the record for most race wins in the Toyota 86 one-make series. Hill will manage the team at Bathurst.

“With Cameron managing the team and his dad Colin engineering the car, we have the right people in our corner,” Sargent said.

“Between the two of them, they know how to make an 86 go fast around Bathurst so we’ll be tapping into their knowledge.”

In preparation for the 6 Hour, Mineeff and Sargent are both completing test miles in the 86, while ramping up their commercial activities.

“As always, there are opportunities for commercial partners to come on board, and great value to be gained for a business to be supporting two young drivers at such a major event, especially with seven hours of coverage live on FOX Sports,” Mineeff said.