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What to expect from the returning Bathurst 12 Hour

International GT racing returns to Mount Panorama this weekend with the first running of the Bathurst 12 Hour since early 2020.

 Town to Track parade

The 2020 running of the race was one of the last international events held in Australia before the pandemic took hold and the borders were closed.

The border closures ultimately put paid to the 2021 running of the event, which was cancelled and effectively replaced by the opening round of the Supercars season, the Mount Panorama 500.

With the borders open the 12 Hour returns this year, however the pandemic has still interfered in the way the SRO and Supercars-organised event will run.

High case numbers early in the year meant the traditional February date was axed for a mid-May date. The opening round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge will therefore run to Pro-Am regulations as clashes with the European GT season have resulted in a reduced entry from overseas crews.

A modest 20-car entry, around half of what is usually expected for the event, will take the start. This includes 12 GT3 entries in Class A Pro-Am, who will each have at least a single Bronze-rated driver in their line-up.

Other changes due to the May date include the earliest ever start time of 5:15am. That's half an hour earlier than the traditional 5:45am start, with the shorter pre-Winter day meaning there will be 90 minutes of racing before dawn, significantly more than usual. The race will then finish back in the twilight.

To help drivers better adapt, there will be a dedicated evening practice session on Friday.

While the entry list is small and there is only one proper international team, Craft-Bamboo Racing from Hong Kong, there is plenty of firepower in terms of driver talent.

 Town to Track parade

Town to Track parade

Photo by: Bathurst 12H

The overseas contingent includes gun Audi drivers Nathanael Berthon, Kelvin van der Linde, Ricardo Feller and Markus Winkelhock.

Mercedes aces Maro Engel and reigning Bathurst 12 Hour winner Jules Gounon will also be in the field.

As for local talent the cream of the Supercars crop have landed seats for the race.

That includes 2021 Bathurst 1000 winners Chaz Mostert and Lee Holdsworth, Nick Percat, Cam Waters and David Reynolds (all Audis), as well as Broc Feeney, Shane van Gisbergen and Will Brown (all Mercedes).

“Considering the challenging environment in which we are staging the race this year, we are pleased with the field," said Bathurst 12 Hour Motorsport Operations Manager Paul Martin.

“There was no shying away from the fact that this was going to be a challenging year to run the event, but we were committed to putting on the show and we are confident that it will be a very good race based on the field we have.

“It might not be the largest field in Bathurst 12 Hour history, however it is extremely high quality.

“We are thrilled with the way teams have embraced our changes this year, changes that have been designed to support the Am drivers as best as possible.

“The quality and depth of talent throughout the grid is already world class, with several of the key international names yet to be unveiled. The local names already confirmed are among the best drivers in the country and they will put on a show.

“There’s no doubt in our minds that this year will be another memorable chapter in the history of the Bathurst 12 Hour.”

Practice kicks off on Friday morning.

Qualifying and the race will be shown live at Motorsport.tv. Available worldwide except Australia and New Zealand.

2022 Bathurst 12 Hour session times - All times local (GMT +10)

Friday May 13
10:00-10:30 Bathurst 12 Hour – Practice 1 (bronze drivers only)
10:40-11:10 Bathurst 12 Hour – Practice 2
15:20-16:00 Bathurst 12 Hour – Practice 3 (bronze drivers only)
17:05-17:45 Bathurst 12 Hour – Practice 4

Saturday May 14
8:05-9:05 Bathurst 12 Hour – Practice 5
9:55-10:55 Bathurst 12 Hour – Practice 6
13:20-13:45 Bathurst 12 Hour – Qualifying 1 (bronze drivers only)
13:55-14:20 Bathurst 12 Hour – Qualifying 2 (all drivers)
16:10-16:55 Bathurst 12 Hour – Top 10 Shootout

Sunday May 15
5:15-17:15 Bathurst 12 Hour – Race

2022 Bathurst 12 Hour entry list

No.

Class

Brand

Model

Entrant

Drivers

     

4

Class A Pro-Am

Porsche

911 GT3R

Grove Racing Pty Ltd

Stephen Grove

Brenton Grove

Benjamin Barker

-

6

Class A Pro-Am

Lamborghini

Huracan GT3

Wall Racing

Tony D'Alberto

David Wall

Adrian Deitz

Grant Denyer

9

Class A Pro-Am

Audi

R8 GT3 Evo II

Marc Cini

Marc Cini

Lee Holdsworth

Dean Fiore

-

11

Class C Porsche Cup

Porsche

991 GT3 Gen II

Eric Constantinidis

Indiran Padayachee

Eric Constantindis

Aaron Zerefos

-

17

Class A Pro-Am

Audi

R8 GT3 Evo II

Mark Rosser

Mark Rosser

Nick Percat

Joseph Mawson

-

19

Class A Pro-Am

Mercedes

AMG GT3

Mark Griffith

Mark Griffith

Will Brown

Jack Perkins

-

24

Class A Pro-Am

Audi

R8 GT3 Evo II

Tony Bates Racing

Tony Bates

TBA

TBA

-

45

Class A Am

Mercedes

AMG GT3

Sheargold Motorsport Pty Ltd

Michael Sheargold

Garth Walden

Brett Hobson

-

47

Class A Am

Audi

R8 GT3 Evo II

James Koundouris

James Koundouris

Theo Koundouris

David Russell

Paul Stokell

50

Invitational

KTM

X-Bow GT2

David Crampton

David Crampton

Trent Harrison

Glen Wood

Dale Wood

52

Invitational

MARC

II V8

Keith Kassulke

Keith Kassulke

Hadrian Morall

TBA

-

55

Class A Am

Mercedes

AMG GT3

Marcel Zalloua

Marcel Zalloua

Sergio Pires

Duvashen Padayachee

-

65

Class A Pro-Am

Audi

R8 GT3 Evo II

Melbourne Performance Centre Pty Ltd

Liam Talbot

Fraser Ross

Chaz Mostert

-

74

Class A Pro-Am

Audi

R8 GT3 Evo II

Audi Sport Team Valvoline

Brad Schumacher

TBA

TBA

-

75

Class A Pro-Am

Mercedes

AMG GT3

Triple Eight Engineering

Kenny Habul

Martin Konrad

Jules Gounon

Luca Stolz

91

Class A Pro-Am

Mercedes

AMG GT3

Craft-Bamboo Racing

TBA

TBA

TBA

-

95

Invitational

MARC

II V8

MARC Cars Australia

Geoffrey Taunton

Jake Camilleri

TBA

-

222

Class C Porsche Cup

Porsche

991 GT3 Gen II

Scott Taylor

Alex Davison

Geoff Emery

TBA

-

777

Class A Pro-Am

Audi

R8 GT3 Evo II

Audi Sport Team Valvoline

Yasser Shahin

TBA

TBA

-

888

Class A Pro-Am

Mercedes

AMG GT3

Triple Eight Engineering

Prince Jefri Ibrahim

Broc Feeney

Shane van Gisbergen

-

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