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So, what’s a Vortex?

Eagle-eyed Repco Bathurst 12 Hour fans will have searched the entry list and come across the name Vortex with a puzzled look?

Vortex SAS was formed by French brothers Arnaud and Olivier Gomez in 2015 to contest silhouette categories paving the way to develop one of their own. Using the Volkswagen Scirocco bodied silhouette sourced from GC Automobile powered by a GC10-V8, the brothers qualified as the fastest non-GT3 entry in the 2016 Dubai 24 Hour as it went on to finish 27th overall and second in class.

The next year provided the debut of the Vortex 1.0 as it proved a tough couple of years as the squad continued to develop its new package culminating in the 2022 GTX Teams’ Championship after scoring six podiums out of seven events.

Powered by a 6.2-litre Chevrolet V8 producing 550bhp, the chassis is of steel construction and will be in the Invitational Class.

New customers are set to emerge from the US and the Middle East joining the limited number in Europe as a new generation featuring a carbon chassis, upgraded aerodynamics in addition to proposed overhaul of the suspension is coming on stream.

It’s entry in the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour marks the first for Vortex in Oceania as it will be spearheaded by Lionel Amrouche, Julien Boilot and Philippe Bonnel, who doubles as the squad’s PR and marketing manager.

Speaking on the new generation of the Vortex, Bonnel provided details on where the developments are being targeted.

“Aerodynamics was a bit priority,” Bonnel explained.

“With the [1.0], we have trouble in a straight-line and are limited with our speed. But we are very quick in the corners because there is a lot of downforce. So, the main objective is to keep the downforce the same, but now without that affecting the speed on the straights.

“This means the aero will be completely different. A lot of study has gone into that, and we were actually inspired by the Renault R.S. 01. That also means we can change the position of the driver’s seat too: today [in the 1.0], it’s very straight, and in the new car, it will be more [horizontal].

“For the carbon chassis, there are two reasons. First, it’s much more rigid and stable. And the second one is because it’s a technical improvement, which should make the [lifespan] of the car much greater. By the end of October, we’re aiming to have our first two frames built in carbon.

“We tried to find the ideal [balance] between improving the technics of the car and keep the same ability for our gentlemen drivers. This is a big selling point for our market, particularly in France and I hope [further afield] next year. We don’t have a price yet, but it will be a lower price than a GT3.

“For next year, ideally we’ll have two 1.0s and two 2.0s. This will help our drivers discover whether they want to race the first one or the second one.”

This is just one of the interesting entries to have competed in the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour as part of the Invitational Class making this event unique, so don’t miss it on February 16-18.