WHAT IS IT?
THE Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour is a race for GT3, GT4 and invited production-based or specialised endurance vehicles held at Mount Panorama, Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia between February 2-4, 2018.
The race is now generally acknowledged and recognised around the world as one of the most significant races for GT vehicles on the calendar, alongside contemporaries like the Spa-Francorchamps 24 Hour and the Nurburgring 24 Hour.
WHAT ARE THE CLASSES?
There are four classes that contest the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
Each car may have three or four drivers, while entrants in Class A must have drivers categorised by the FIA Driver Ranking System as either Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze.
For the purposes of the Bathurst 12 Hour, Platinum and Gold drivers are considered ‘Seeded’, Silver and Bronze are ‘Unseeded’.
Class A – GT3
Class A is for vehicles complying with GT3 regulations, now the most popular and successful GT category around the world and the same as major international races like the Spa 24 Hour and Nurburgring 24 Hour.
Competing brands include Audi, Porsche, Ferrari, Nissan, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, McLaren, Bentley and Aston Martin – amongst others.
Class A is divided into three separate sub-classes, including:
Pro – for entries featuring all-professional drivers
Pro/AM – for entries featuring a maximum of two (2) professional / seeded drivers.
Am – no seeded Drivers are permitted. At least one (1) unseeded Driver must have a FIA licence with a bronze ranking.
Class B – GT3 Cup Cars
Class B is the domain of Porsche’s GT3 Cup Car, seen in global Carrera Cup championships around the world.
Class C – GT4
GT4 is the baby brother of GT3, for more production-based GT vehicles complying to the global GT4 regulations.
A ‘boom’ category in global GT competition, GT4 is growing in Australia with major brands keen to invest in the class and build its profile here.
The stand-alone GT4 class is set to be one of the most hotly contested ‘races within a race’ in the 2018 Bathurst 12 Hour.
Class I – Invited Cars
The invitational class is for cars deemed eligible by the organisers. Invited class cars include the MARC Cars Australia Ford Focus / Mazda 3 endurance racer and selected production based vehicles.
12 HOUR RECORDS:
Qualifying Record: 2m01.2860s (Shane van Gisbergen, McLaren 650S GT3, 2016) (Fastest ever official lap of Mount Panorama)
Race Lap Record: 2m01.5670s (Shane van Gisbergen, McLaren 650S GT3, 2016) (Also outright Mount Panorama lap record)
Most laps completed by Winners: 297 (1,845km) – Shane van Gisbergen / Jonathon Webb / Alvaro Parente, 2016 winners.
Least laps completed by Winners: 202 (1,255km) – Garry Holt / John Bowe / Paul Morris, 2010 winners.
Record Starting field: 52 – 2017
Smallest Winning Margin: 0.4132 (2014)
Largest Winning Margin: 1 Lap (2017, 2013, 2010)
Most wins by a single brand: Mazda (3), BMW (2), Audi (2), Mitsubishi (2), Ferrari (2)
Drivers with multiple victories: 9 (John Bowe, Garry Walden, Garry Holt, Paul Morris, Rod Salmon, Damien White, Darryl O’Young, Chris Mies, Craig Lowndes – 2 each).
Record Attendance: 40,364 (2017)
ABOUT MOUNT PANORAMA:
Mount Panorama is the world-renowned circuit located in Bathurst, New South Wales.
Known as the spiritual home of Australian Motor Racing, the circuit became famous via the annual Bathurst 1000 classic which was first held (over 500 miles) in 1963.
The Bathurst 1000 is now one of Australia’s largest sporting events, attracting more than 200,000 people across its four days – but the Mountain is more than just the annual October classic, now hosting the Bathurst 12 Hour in February and the Bathurst 6 Hour for Production Cars each Easter.
The Mount Panorama track is a public road for the majority of the year and as such regular road rules apply (incl.2 way traffic, 60km/hr speed limit).
It is 174 metres from the bottom of the circuit (Pit Straight) to the top of Skyline, “as the crow flies”. Race direction (during major events) is anti-clockwise.
Mount Panorama is unique in its rural setting. There are over 40 private residences located around the circuit (inside and outside). Private businesses also exist on the Mount – including: luxury accommodation, a winery, restaurant and fruit orchard. Several local sporting associations also use the Mount as a base for their activities, including the Sporting Shooters Association, Bathurst Rifle Club, Bathurst Gun Club, Panorama Motorcycle Club, and, of course, the Bathurst Light Car Club.
The National Motor Racing Museum sits on Murray’s Corner, showcasing an impressive array of motorcycle and car racing memorabilia from all over the country.
Circuit Length: 6.213km
Length of Conrod Straight = 1.916km
Length of Mountain Straight = 1.111km
Highest Point: 862m above sea level
Grades of up to 1 in 6.13
Facts courtesy of www.mountpanorama.com