June 2005. For the second year Team Mirage Australia succeeded at the demanding Nürburgring 24hr Race on May 7-8 2005. The nine drivers & five crew, all from Australia, made a return with a new level of confidence.
Team owner and lead driver Mal Rose summed up the experience as "UNREAL". He was teamed with co-drivers Kevin Burton and Anthony Robson to finish (again) 2nd in class A2, and 61st outright from 213 starters. Mal, Kevin & Anthony qualified 4th in class against a field of international racecars.
From the start the Mirage Cup Car 146 was in contention and by the second hour was leading its class. Throughout the day & night the race was hotly contested by a factory supported Suzuki Ignis with 3 Japanese drivers & 1 German. Mal and his team led the class for 20 hours until a small electrical misfire caused them to lose the lead.
The drama of the race unfolded when the car stopped within sight of the finish. Nürburgring being a 25km racetrack meant the only way to get the car to finish was with help from the Team Mirage car 147 of Peter Leemhuis, Adam Wallis & Tony Alford. Car 146, driven by Kevin Burton at that stage, was assisted by Tony Alford in car 147, pushing it almost 10km up and down the mountain before it fired up for a flying finish.
The team burst into euphoria as all the cars were brought home for a 100% finishing record. Also, this year the team was running a 3rd car 148, driven by Colin Osborne, Alan Shephard & Rob Rubis.
All Team Mirage Australia drivers have already planned a return trip to try to master the very fast & sometimes dangerous track in the Eiffel Mountains of South East Germany.
Year 2006 will become the team's main focus to win the A2 Class (for 1600cc) as the car has now finished 2nd in class twice. "We want to win our class in 2006 before we start our next project. We have to have a win before too long!" said an enthusiastic Rose.
This is one of the most demanding tracks in the world (4 times longer than Bathurst) and a heap faster. Some of the cars are clocking over 355 kph on three parts of the track! Our Mitsubishi Mirage Cup Cars are now the talk of Germany as our small team of Aussies again looked at upsetting the local & international teams.
The Mal Rose Racing team was again supported by Toyo Tyres, Castrol, Rehydr8, Five Star CV Reconditioning, Total Engine Services, XenonOz, Reliance and Caldwell Auto Body Repairs.
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