Ulster duo are gearing up for daunting Bathurst challenge
Mount Panorama in New South Wales is one of the most demanding circuits in the world and it is there this weekend that two of Ulster's top sportscar drivers will kick off the 2016 season.
Steven Kane and Andrew Watson feature in two of the top teams for the Bathurst 12-Hour race around the four-mile public road track which climbs up and over the 600-ft high hill.
Kane, recently voted the No.2 GT driver in the world, will be on board the official Bentley M-Sport team's GT3 Continental for his second Bathurst bid and 21-year-old Watson is part of McLaren Racing's line-up, driving a 650S GT3 at the circuit for the first time.
His selection to partner Rob Bell and Will Davison is an indication of Watson's growing reputation within the McLaren organisation where he is part of their Young Driver programme. Before he left for Australia he spent time on a simulator familiarising himself with the circuit.
In contrast Kane, from Ballynahinch, is highly experienced, a proven winner in all forms of racing. He was fourth at Bathurst last year and is joined this time by fellow Brits Guy Smith and Matt Bell.
"Bathurst is a really exciting challenge both for the car and drivers," he said. "You have to be incredibly precise over the top of the mountain, but the Bentley is so poised that we should be able to attack and I think we stand a good chance of a strong finish."