RECAP: The week in driver announcements

FOURTEEN. That’s the number of driving combinations announced in the last five days ahead of the 2020 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour. 

While it’s not a stat that will likely make the official event record book, it is officially the most ever confirmed in a single working week in event history!

From World Champions to Supercars stars, it’s been a revealing week that locks in a vast majority of the key contenders for the 2020 race.

In case you missed out, here’s a recap of five furious days of team and driver announcements that leave us with one of the most talent-filled grids the Mountain has ever seen.

In the meantime, check out the current entry list as it stands by clicking here


Monday, 13 January

Sponsor, Drivers confirmed for Bates’ B12hr attack. 

TONY Bates confirmed that triple GT champion Geoff Emery, Carrera Cup and Super2 ace Dylan O’Keeffe and noted GT ace and Porsche champion Max Twigg would join him aboard a Bostik-supported Audi R8 LMS, resplendent in a striking blue and green livery.


Tuesday, 14 January

Audi set for 10th anniversary of maiden 12-Hour victory

AUDI SPORT Customer Racing confirmed perhaps their strongest ever Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour campaign yet – on the tenth anniversary of the brands first of three wins in Australia’s International Enduro. Their three combinations are each absolutely race contenders: Christopher Haase, former winner Dries Vanthoor and Frederic Vervisch in car 2, Mirko Bortolotti, double winner Christopher Mies and Garth Tander in the 22 with Car 222 piloted by Mattia Drudi, Kelvin van der Linde and Marcus Winkelhock.

Lowndes to join Bamber & Vanthoor in defending champion Porsche

THIS was the big one: Bathurst hero Craig Lowndes confirmed to join two of the very best in the Sports Car business driving a car entered by the team that won the race last year. Laurens Vanthoor and Earl Bamber are both among the most capable Sports Car racers in the world – Vanthoor has electrified the Mountain in the past while Bamber has a couple of Le Mans victories and a World title to his credit. And both won the IMSA GTE championship last year. Craig Lowndes is just Craig Lowndes, and will surely do Craig Lowndes things in this remarkable combination that are short-priced early favorites. Car looks good, too..

Young stars headline second R-Motorsport Aston

MONDAY was a big day, with news coming later in the evening that R-Motorsport’s second Aston Martin Vantage GT3 entry would include a trio of young guns, just to spice things up. Joining last year’s runner-up Marvin Kirchofer, 17-year-old Olli Caldwell and five-time FIA Formula Two race winner Luca Ghiotto form a fascinating combination that could be something of a wildcard this year.


Wednesday, 15 January 

NED Racing Team locks sponsors, drivers for strong B12hr campaign

THE second element of Earl Bamber Motorsport’s tasty (pardon the pun) combination came on Wednesday, with the announcement of the NED Racing Team entry of David Calvert-Jones, Jaxon Evans and Romain Dumas. CJ is a former Pro-Am class winner on the Mountain, while Evans’ has plenty of Bathurst miles and is currently gainfully employed by Porsche as a junior driver. Dumas has quite literally won just about everything there is to win in Sports Car racing so when coupled by their new Australian whiskey sponsor, this is a mouth-watering combination in its own right.

Reynolds, Buhk, Engel, de Pasquale in host of AMG stars confirmed for B12hr

MERCEDES-AMG tend not to do things by half when it comes to Mount Panorama and the same can be said for their SIX strong squad of GT3s entered this year. It’s rife with talent, so we’ll lay it all out here:

Mercedes-AMG Team Triple Eight Race Engineering – Jamie Whincup, Shane van Gisbergen, Maximillian Gotz
Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing – Maximilian Buhk, Raffaele Marciello, Felipe Fraga
Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Black Falcon – Yelmer Buurman, Maro Engel, Luca Stolz

The Bend Motorsport Park – Nick Foster, Anton de Pasquale, Sam Shahin and Yasser Shahin
Sun Energy1 Racing – Kenny Habul, David Reynolds, Dominik Baumann, Martin Konrad
Black Falcon Racing – Patrick Assenheimer, Sergej Afanasiev

Marciello, in particular, was stunning in 2019. SVG, Jamie and Maxi Gotz we know well. Engel is a former polesitter on the Mountain. David Reynolds is David Reynolds.. and the list goes on.


Thursday, 16 January 

Slade returns to Hub Auto Ferrari

TIM SLADE was confirmed on Thursday to be returning to the Hub Auto team, which includes Brazilian experience in the form of Daniel Serra and Marcos Gomes – both champion drivers in their naitive country and in long-distance racing. It adds another strong car to the grid, Ferrari’s only contender this year.


What’s to come? 

  • Monday will see the KCMG Nissan squad confirm both of their respective driving squads.
  • The MARC Cars Australia entries will show off their new sponsor and drivers early next week
  • Wednesday will see the Audi Sport Team Valvoline squad reveal their new livery for 2020
  • BMW will confirm the squad of drivers set to steer for Walkenhorst Motorsport
  • The ‘TBA’ GT4 entry, car and livery will be shown off