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The Bathurst 12 Hour 2023 – 3-5 February

The roar of GT3 engines, the thrill of high-speed action and the rush of adrenaline from pre-dawn to dusk is the formula once again, drawing the world’s best to the iconic Mount Panorama circuit. 

The Bathurst 12 Hour 2023 is coming, and it’s set to be one of the most exhilarating events of the year, as teams and drivers from around the globe will push their cars and skills to the limit in a gruelling 12-hour battle.

Night race from The Bathurst 12 Hour

With a star-studded lineup of drivers, new regulations and an impressive array of off-track entertainment, the Bathurst 12 Hour 2023 is the ultimate motorsport event for fans of GT racing cars. 

So join us as we take you on a journey of the most exciting endurance race of the year, from the on-track action to the off-track events. Get ready for an unforgettable experience as the Bathurst 12 Hour 2023 revs up for an epic race.

Here’s the final list of Driver’s for the Bathurst 12 Hour 2023

Class A Pro

Car # Brand Drivers
32 BMW Sheldon van der Linde, Dries Vanthoor, Charles Weerts
46 BMW Augusto Farfus, Maxime Martin, Valentino Rossi
74 Audi Christopher Haase, Patrick Niederhauser, Mattia Drudi
75 Mercedes Kenny Habul, Jules Gounon, Luca Stolz
77 Mercedes Daniel Juncadella, Lucas Auer, Nicky Catsburg
888 Mercedes Shane van Gisbergen, Broc Feeney, Maxi Gotz
912 Porsche Matt Campbell, Mathieu Jaminet, Thomas Preining
999 Mercedes Maro Engel, Mikael Grenier, Raffaele Marciello

Class A Pro-Am

Car # Brand Drivers
4 Porsche Stephen Grove, Brenton Grove, Anton De Pasquale
9 Audi Marc Cini, Lee Holdsworth, Dean Fiore
24 Mercedes Tony Bates, David Reynolds, Jordan Love
55 Audi Brad Schumacher, James Golding, Frederic Vervisch
99 Mercedes Jamie Whincup, Richie Stanaway, Prince Jefri Ibrahim
222 Mercedes  Craig Lowndes, Alex Davison, Scott Taylor, Geoff Emery
777 Audi Chris Mies, Ricardo Feller, Yasser Shahin

Class A Silver

Car # Brand Drivers
6 Lamborghini Tony D’Alberto, David Wall, Adrian Deitz, Grant Denyer
10 Audi Daniel Gaunt, Dylan O’Keeffe, Andrew Fawcett
44 Mercedes Marcel Zalloua, Sergio Pires, Duvashen Padayachee
47 Audi David Russell, Jonathon Webb, Theo Koundouris
65 Audi Chaz Mostert, Liam Talbot, Fraser Ross
101 Mercedes Ross Poulakis, Josh Hunt, Kevin Tse, Jonathon Hui

Invitational

Car # Brand Drivers
19 Mercedes Mark Griffith, TBA, TBA
50 KTM Glen Wood, David Crampton, Jayden Ojeda, Trent Harrison
52 MARC Keith Kassulke, Hadrian Morrall, Cameron McLeod
66 SIN Ben Schoots, Dylan Thomas, Shane Woodman
111 MARC Darren Currie, Grant Donaldson, Geoff Taunton

History of the Bathurst 12 Hour

How it all started

Bathurst 12 Hour, now an integral and beloved part of the racing calendar in Australia, originated as the brain-child of promoter Vincent Tesoriero. The race has encountered various formats and car types before Bathurst’s most experienced motorsport event organiser, James O’Brien turned the event into an international GT race that has grown in popularity and prestige over the last decade.

In 1990, with the decline of touring car racing and an increasingly popular production car scene, Tesoriero saw an opportunity to bring cars and bikes together for endurance racing at Bathurst. 

The concept was fairly radical for the time, considering that prior production car race events were typically relatively short sprints lasting 10-15 laps. Tesoriero proposed instead that they be adapted into a 12 Hour endurance event on Sunday at Bathurst, with bike races taking place on Friday and Saturday, continuing the tradition he’d established with Six Hour productions. 

The idea was met with a mix of enthusiasm and scepticism by both fans and drivers alike.

For its inception in 1991, only 24 cars competed due to certain modifications needing approval before they could take part. But from then on, it has taken various forms and now attracting high-end cars to become one of the most highly anticipated races each year at Mount Panorama Racing Circuit. The inaugural race ultimately saw victory for three drivers sharing a Toyota Supra Turbo–Allan Grice, Peter Fitzgerald and Nigel Arkell.

The hiatus

Despite its success, the race went on hiatus from 1996 to 2006, citing rising costs as the main reason.

In 2002, PROCAR owner Ross Palmer announced he would revive the event with Bathurst 24 Hour.

Sadly, Palmer’s ambitious plans for the long-term revival of the event ultimately failed due to rising costs. Bathurst 24 Hour lasted for only two years.

The revival

The 2007 revival of the Bathurst 12 Hour marked an important return to the classic endurance race as part of the Bathurst Motorsport Festival. 

Mastermind James O’Brien originally planned for GT cars to share the event with production cars, but instead, the regulations closely resembled its original concept as a race for production cars. Enthusiasts met this return with enthusiasm–teams entered 32 cars for the 2007 race, a much larger field than in previous years.

The 2007 edition of the 12 Hour would set up one of the most exciting eras in this classic endurance race, with both BMW and Mitsubishi proving strong contenders throughout its duration until 2011, when Audi took out first place on this incredible racetrack.

Finishing Line of The Bathurst 12 Hour

International expansion

In 2011, the Bathurst 12 Hour organisers decided to allow GT3-specification cars into the event for the first time. 

This did not sit well with many of the production car teams, who had previously competed in the event. This led to a drop in entries and a shift in the balance of power within the event.

The change in the class structure also meant that the Bathurst 12 Hour became more of a GT-focused event, with less emphasis on production-based cars. This change in direction was not well received by some long-time competitors and fans, who felt that the event had lost its unique identity.

Despite this, the Bathurst 12 Hour grew in popularity and attracted more international teams and drivers. 

Things began to turn around in 2013 when the Bathurst 12 Hour saw a record field of over 50 cars. This marked the end of the two-year run of poor entry numbers, and it was a sign that the event was back on track.

Competitors from The Bathurst 12 Hour

Intercontinental GT challenge

The year 2016 was a historic one for the Bathurst 12 Hour endurance race and for the motorsports world as a whole, as it marked the inaugural race of the newly formed Intercontinental GT Challenge. This new series brought together some of the world’s most prestigious endurance races for GT3 cars, including the Bathurst 12 Hour, the Sepang 12 Hours, and the Spa 24 Hours in Belgium.

Including the Bathurst 12 Hour in the Intercontinental GT Challenge was a significant step forward and helped to further establish it as a major motorsport event on the international calendar. This brought even more international teams and drivers to the event and helped raise the profile of the Bathurst 12 Hour around the world.

The 2016 Bathurst 12 Hour was filled with drama and excitement, as Shane van Gisbergen set a record pace in qualifying with a sizzling 2’01.286 and showed that pace throughout the race. He led his Tekno Autosports McLaren 650S GT3 to victory alongside McLaren factory driver Álvaro Parente and Tekno team owner/driver Jonathon Webb.

Tekno Autosports McLaren 650S GT3 competing at The Bathurst 12 Hour

Covid-19

The Bathurst 12 Hour endurance race faced significant challenges in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In October 2020, the 2021 race was unfortunately cancelled, predominantly due to the international travel restrictions caused by the pandemic in Australia. 

As a result of the cancellation, Supercars, part-owners of the Bathurst 12 Hour, decided to instead run the Mount Panorama 500 in February as the opening round of the 2021 Supercars Championship. This event featured a reduced format, with two 250-kilometre races, and it was held without spectators due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

2022 changes

The endurance race also felt the pandemic’s impact in 2022. In light of the ongoing concerns, the race was delayed from February to May 2022. 

In addition to the delay, the 2022 event also featured some regulation changes. The new class structure and event format were geared towards providing a thrilling Pro-Am experience for all. 

One of the major changes was the mandatory inclusion of at least one FIA bronze-ranked driver in every car competing in the GT3 class.

Additionally, a new qualifying structure was introduced where aggregate lap times played a crucial role in determining grid positions, allowing every team member to make a meaningful impact on the race’s outcome.

Bathurst 12 Hour Endurance Race

What’s new in 2023

The 2023 Bathurst 12 Hour endurance race is shaping up to be one of the most exciting events of the year, with a host of new and exciting entries set to take to the track.

One of the most notable entries for the 2023 event is the nine Mercedes-AMG GT3s. This is the most of any single GT3 model in the 12 Hour’s history. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 is a powerful and capable car, sure to be a strong contender on the track.

Another exciting entry for the 2023 event is BMW’s new M4, GT3. This car will be making its Bathurst debut and will surely be a crowd-pleaser. 

In addition to the Mercedes-AMG GT3s and the BMW M4 GT3, the Sin R1 entered by the Daytona Sports Cars team is a car that is sure to turn heads on the track, and it is sure to be a hit with fans and drivers alike.

Stationary Race vehicle from The Bathurst 12 Hour.

Class structure for Bathurst 12 Hour in 2023

After embracing a Pro-Am format in 2022 due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing global freight challenges, the Bathurst 12 Hour race will return in 2023 to featuring a fully professional outright class at the top of the field. The race will welcome back teams with all-pro driving line-ups for the first time since 2020. This change is expected to bring a new level of competition and excitement to the event and will allow fans to see professional drivers compete at their best.

Class A – GT3

  • PRO
  • PRO-AM – for driving combinations including at least one Bronze-ranked driver
  • Silver – All must be either Silver or Bronze-rated drivers
  • Bronze – for three- or four-driver crews consisting solely of Bronze-ranked drivers

Class B – Porsche GT3 Cup Cars

Class C – GT4

  • must include at least one Bronze-ranked driver

Class I – Invitational class

  • must include at least one Bronze-ranked driver

2023 Bathurst 12 hour drivers

Although the final list of entries will not be released until closer to the event, fans can expect a thrilling mix of some of the world’s most talented drivers and powerful cars.

Teams and manufacturers

The event will feature a diverse range of manufacturers and models, including some of the most iconic and high-performance cars. From sleek and powerful GT3s to cutting-edge prototypes, the Bathurst 12 Hour will showcase the very best in motorsports engineering and design.

These eight among the 28 confirmed entries will be the teams to watch out for:

  • Sun Energy 1
  • Supercheap auto racing
  • GruppeM Racing
  • Mercedes-AMG Craft-Bamboo Racing
  • Melbourne Performance Centre
  • Team WRT
  • Team WRT
  • Manthey EMA
The Bathurst 12 Hour competitors

Sun Energy 1, Supercheap auto racing, GruppeM Racing and Mercedes-AMG Craft-Bamboo Racing will be entering the race with their AMG GT3, a car that is known for its powerful engine and sleek design. This makes these teams strong contenders for the top spot on the podium.

Melbourne Performance Centre is expected to be a force to be reckoned with on the track, driving the Audi R8 LMS Evo 2, a car known for its speed and agility.

The two WRT teams are also expected to be strong contenders in the race, competing in BMW M4 GT3, a car making its Bathurst debut.

Of course, there’s Manthey EMA that’s set to unleash a powerhouse of speed and agility on the track with its Porsche 911 GT3R.

The Bathurst 12 Hour endurance race will also be even more exciting, as Red Bull Racing is bringing an RB7 Formula 1 car to the event, giving fans a rare opportunity to see an F1 car in action on one of the world’s most challenging tracks.

The RB7 is the car model the team raced in the 2011 Formula 1 season, where they and Sebastian Vettel achieved their second of four consecutive constructors’ and drivers’ championships, respectively. 

Formula 1 Vehicle at the Bathurst 12 Hour

Drivers

In addition to the exciting line-up of cars, the event is set to be a thrilling showdown as current, and former V8 Supercar champions take to the track. 

Leading the pack is the reigning champion, Shane Van Gisbergen, who will drive for Triple Eight’s Supercheap Auto Racing. Broc Freeney and Maximilian Gotz will join him.

Motorsports fans worldwide will be excited to hear that legendary MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi will be making his GT3 debut down under at the Bathurst 12 Hour endurance race. The Italian racing legend, who has achieved numerous MotoGP world championships, is expected to be a strong contender for the top spot on the podium.

Valentino Rossi at the Bathurst 12 Hour

Fans can also expect an exciting display of skill and determination from Craig Lowdnes, Jamie Whincup, Anton de Pasquale, Alex Davison and Michael Caruso as they push themselves and their cars to the limit in the quest for victory.

Race times

Thursday, 2 Feb 2023
Start Finish Category Session
10:30 13:00 Bathurst 12 Hour Town to Track Activity
Friday, 3 Feb
8:20 8:50 Combined Sedans Qualifying 1
9:00 9:30 Formula Ford Practice
9:45 10:25 Bathurst 12 Hour Practice 1 
10:35 10:55 Combined Sedans Qualifying 2
11:05 11:45 Bathurst 12 Hour Practice 2 (Bronze Drivers only)
11:55 12:15 Formula Ford Qualifying
13:15 13:45 Combined Sedans Race 1 – 10 Laps or 1 lap after 13:42
14:00 14:40 Bathurst 12 Hour Practice 3 (Bronze Drivers only)
14:50 15:20 Bathurst 12 Hour Demonstration
15:30 15:55 Formula Ford Race 1 – 1 lap after 15:52
16:10 16:50 Bathurst 12 Hour Practice 4
Saturday, 4 Feb 2023
7:20 7:50 Combined Sedans Race 2 – 10 laps or 1 lap after 7:47
8:00 8:25 Formula Ford Race 2 – 1 lap after 8:22
8:35 9:35 Bathurst 12 Hour Practice 5
9:50 10:40 Bathurst 12 Hour Sponsor ride session
10:50 11:50 Bathurst 12 Hour Practice 6
12:45 13:10 Bathurst 12 Hour Qualifying – Part 1 (Q1)
13:25 13:45 Bathurst 12 Hour Demonstration
13:55 14:35 Bathurst 12 Hour Qualifying – Part 2 (Q2)
14:50 15:20 Combined Sedans Race 3 – 10 laps or 1 lap after 15:17
15:30 15:55 Formula Ford Race 3 – 1 lap after 15:52
16:10 16:25 Bathurst 12 Hour Top Ten Shootout Part 1 – Lower 50%
16:35 16:50 Bathurst 12 Hour Top Ten Shootout Part 2 – Upper 50%
17:00 17:15 Bathurst 12 Hour Demonstration
Sunday, 5 Feb 2023
5:45 17:45 Bathurst 12 Hour RACE

 

Bathurst 12 Hour TV schedule

Whether you’re on the other side of the world or right in the heart of Australia, you can tune in and follow all the heart-pumping action. Live coverage will be provided throughout the weekend by Fox Sports, Kayo Sports, Seven, 7plus and LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour website and Facebook page, with the full broadcast details to be announced.

Bathurst Camping for 2023

The Bathurst 12 Hour endurance race is not just about the high-speed thrills on the track; it’s also about the unforgettable experiences that come with it. One of the most exciting ways to fully immerse yourself in the event is by camping at the circuit. Bathurst offers a variety of camping options that will make you feel like you’re part of the action.

McPhillamy (Sold out)

Perched atop the magnificent Mount Panorama, this campground is situated close to the thrilling Skyline and the mountain’s challenging esses. This prime location offers breathtaking views of the Central West and the perfect vantage point to enjoy the excitement of the race.

Paddock – (Sold out)

Experience the thrill of the race up close and personal by camping in one of the most sought-after campgrounds at the event, the Paddock Campground. Located behind the pits, you’ll be right in the heart of the action, surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the teams and drivers as they prepare for the race. With the Paddock Campground, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the action from a unique perspective, giving you an authentic behind-the-scenes experience.

Reid/Sulman – available

The Reid and Sulman Campground offers a truly unparalleled viewing experience, as it is situated at the top of the great Mount Panorama. From this prime location, you can witness the cars ascend the mountain and soar across the iconic Skyline. With the Reid and Sulman Campground, you’ll be able to take in the breathtaking views of the Central West while enjoying the thrill of the race from a vantage point like no other.

Experience the thrill of Bathurst

Imagine the rush of adrenaline as you take on the challenging corners of Mount Panorama, navigating the twists and turns of this world-renowned circuit. 

Our Bathurst driving experience offers the opportunity for you to drive on one of the most iconic circuits in the world. Our seasoned instructors will be on hand to guide you every step of the way, providing you with the knowledge and skills you need to tackle this demanding track.

And don’t forget we have other V8 Supercar driving experiences that you can enjoy for yourself or gift to someone special. See you on the track!

 

Bathurst 12 Hour Track and sweeping views of Western NSW
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