BRAD Shiels had initially planned to spend the Easter weekend at Mount Panorama contesting the Production Sports Car races, but on Saturday he added another job to his list.
The Bathurst driver was added to the driver line-up for the Bathurst 6 Hour.
Shiels was added to the race as a third driver for one of the outright contenders – Garth Walden Racing.
Shiels joins Garth Walden and Craig Baird in the number 45 Mercedes-AMG A45 for the race, boosting the number of Bathurst drivers in the endurance epic.
He joins Brad Schumacher, Michael Anderson, Matthew Windsor, Kyle and Blake Aubin, Brett McFarland and Nik Hough.
Event regulations stipulate a maximum driver time of three and a half hours for each driver in the race, with no more than three hours in any one driving stint.
A minimum period of one hour out of the seat is enforced once drivers jump from the car.
This makes aligning driver time with pit stop and fuel strategy a challenge for two-driver combinations; hence GWR’s move to bolster their squad.
“It’s all about driver time and giving us the flexibility,” Walden explained.
“There’s no minimum time so they don’t have to drive, but it’s nice to have them just in case.
“With the one-hour rest period and the maximum time it’s much easier and smarter to have three drivers and it allows you to be more flexible working your strategy around safety cars and your fuel load.”
Walden said Shields would be on ‘stand by’ for the AMG.
“Brad may drive, but will be more on the circumstances of the race and how it plays out,” he said.
“He did three laps in practice this (Saturday) morning and did a low 2m29 on old tyres so we know he’s capable and up to the job, but it will be a case of seeing how the race plays out.
“But there’s a good chance he’ll do a stint and that will help us out.”