This event has been projected into world attention simply because of the range of entries and the variety of marques which chose to bring their teams to Mount Panorama on February 6-8. More than 34,000 people attended, campgrounds were full, and the live stream was seen across the globe in 149 countries.
Next year the first-timers will take the race and the circuit a lot more seriously, and that includes M-Sport Bentley.
A Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 won after a flurry of activity in the final laps, followed home by an Audi R8 LMS Ultra and third was an Aston Martin V12 GT3.
Bentley was pushed off the podium by teams with superior local knowledge, a much more intimate understanding of the difficult road circuit, and simply better preparation.
The Bentley Boys completely underestimated the Mountain, and the task. With a team of international drivers, the team had virtually no-one to turn to for knowledge of the circuit and its toll on long distance racing.
David Brabham, teaming in a private NZ-entered Bentley Continental GT-3 should have been a Bentley Boy, but his talent, skills and experience went to a team which unfortunately was put out of the race by a blithering idiot.
The Bentley Continental GT-3s looked the part, the team was highly professional, and the attention to detail was impressive, but at the end of 12 Hours, they looked like a flock of lost lambs. Head of Bentley Motorsport, Brian Gush, says they will be better prepared next year, as Bentley has committed to a three year programme in the Bathurst 12 Hour.
It was a fantastic event, with outstanding racing, incidents, tension, 20 separate appearances by the Safety Car, but still 34 cars finished from a starting field of 50. Very impressive. Can't wait for 2016!
* These oustanding photos are provided by my friend John S, whose Blog carries his highly-readable firsthand report of the race and terrific photos.
Check out: <therollingroad.blogspot.com.au>