THE LIQUI-MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour has commenced the 100-day countdown to Australia’s International Endurance Race by announcing several key on and off-track components of the event.
The January 31-February 2 event is set to be the biggest yet with a host of the world’s best GT teams and drivers to descend on Mount Panorama.
The event will double as the opening round of the 2020 Intercontinental GT Challenge, which this year attracted eight brands in a full-season capacity. Following the opening round at Bathurst and events at Laguna Seca, Spa Francorchamps and Suzuka, the 2019 series concludes in two weeks’ time with the return of the iconic Kyalami 9 Hour event in South Africa.
Showing the continued growth in the event, organisers are pleased to confirm that campground sales are significantly higher than at the same point last year while ticket pre-sales have also been strong.
Trackside and Grandstand tickets remain on sale via Ticketek, with reserved Grandstand seats selling quickly. Paddock access will again remain free to all patrons throughout the event.
SUPPORT CATEGORIES CONFIRMED
THE ever-popular Aussie Racing Cars will join a packed on-track program for the first time next year.
Organisers have promised ‘wall-to-wall’ track activity in between Bathurst 12 Hour sessions across the weekend, with Aussie Racing Cars to be joined by the Wake Up Hostels Combined Sedans and Group S Historic Touring Cars on the racing undercard.
Celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, Aussie Racing Cars are one of the longest running and most successful categories in Australian Motorsport and will make a highly anticipated return to Mount Panorama next year.
The category last competed on the Mountain in 2015, with their racing hallmarked by epic slipstreaming battles both up and down the mountain and last corner passes for victory.
Combined Sedans – a grid comprised of TA2, Sports Sedans, Improved Production and ex-Supercars – has already confirmed a full 55-car field while the classic Group S machinery will add further diversity to the event undercard.
More unique on-track action will be announced closer to the event.
FAN ENGAGEMENT TO BE ENHANCED
IN A 12-Hour first, fans trackside and viewing on TV will be better able to track the positions of each car via the addition of Lumirank LED Panels to be fitted to each car next year.
The three-digit display panels will display race position for each car as well as helping identify which driver is in the car at any given time.
The system, developed in Germany, has been successfully utilised regularly throughout the Blancpain GT Series in Europe, Blancpain GT World Challenge America and in major endurance events like the Nürburgring 24 Hours.
The displays, linked with the circuit timing, show each drivers three-letter acronym when they are in the car and also display current race and / or class position throughout the event.
Mounted in the top corner of the windscreen, the displays are bright and visible from trackside viewing and on TV.
INTERNATIONAL VOICES LOCKED IN
GLOBALLY recognised voices of Endurance Racing will return to Mount Panorama to form part of the on-air broadcast team in 2020.
John Hindhaugh and the Radio Show Ltd. team will once again join the coverage to be aired in Australia and New Zealand live on TV, and around the world via the live stream.
The return of the RSL team will ensure the race also continues to be broadcast live to their large audience of die-hard endurance racing fans around the globe via radiolemans.com.
Last year a massive audience from 132 countries streamed at least some part of the event.
Further details of the broadcast package in place for 2020 will be released in due course.
“As the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour continues to develop and grow, we’re always looking for ways to enhance the event. As we reach the 100 days-to-go milestone we’re pleased to showcase some of the steps we’re taking to grow it further in 2020,” said Bathurst 12 Hour Event Manager, Kurt Sakzewski.
“We’re pleased to welcome Aussie Racing Cars to the program. The category provides non-stop action and the 12-Hour is an ideal showcase for them to commence their 2020 season as they launch into their third decade.
“Our support program will ensure non-stop on track action throughout Friday and Saturday as we build towards the Pirelli Shootout Saturday afternoon, and the race itself on Sunday.
“Our close relationship with SRO, via the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli, has led us towards the Lumirank LED displays. We feel like they will add to the product from a fans perspective so they can more easily track who is in what car at any given time, and where they are running.
“The 12-hour has a long reputation of being fan friendly and we aim to continue to develop that approach this year, with more exciting announcements to come.”