SunEnergy1 confirms 12-hour return, driving squad

SunEnergy1 Racing has confirmed their return to the LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour and the four drivers that will spearhead their effort this year – including a defending race winner. 

Runners-up in 2018, the US-flagged team will field a current-specification Mercedes AMG GT3 in the race, with trackside support from Triple Eight Race Engineering.

Team Owner / driver Kenny Habul will lead the attack as he makes his fourth 12-Hour start, with Martin Konrad, Luca Stolz and defending 12-Hour winner Jules Gounon completing the driving squad.

Gold Coast-born Habul moved to the United States to becoming successful in both business and racing – however Bathurst remains an immense lure for the self-appointed Peter Brock disciple.

Habul says his second-place in 2018 remains his ‘prized trophy’ among his motorsport successes.

“It’s my favourite race in the world and in my opinion the best track in the world,” he said.

“I’ve done OK racing around the GT series’, Suzuka, Spa, South Africa and Daytona, but to me it’s the most special, it’s the most difficult.

“I grew up going to the races there and I worked with Brock as a teenager in ’87, and worked with teams in the 90s and I even bought the property there on Conrod, which I haven’t seen yet!

“It’s been tough not being there for a couple of years, but it’s my favourite track and favourite race and I’m excited.”

The SunEnergy1 Racer said he was pleased with the combination of car, team and talent assembled for his 12-Hour attack this year.

“We’re still with AMG, they’ve been good to be. I won the Pro-Am trophy with SRO last year which was nice,” he said.

“I’ve got a good group of drivers around me I like, the same group of AMG drivers around me.

“Whenever there’s a Pro-Am race I always drive with Martin Konrad, he’s quick and fast.

“Luca Stolz is a great guy, super fast and then Jules Gounon who used to be Bentley factory team but is now with AMG.

“We like each other, we get along and everyone is pretty similar on the setup.

“Congrats to the series and everyone in the race to make it a Pro-Am race, it makes it so much better for us rather than me going up against the Pro’s.”

“I’m excited. I’m thankful it’s back on and I know everyone is keen to get there.”

While all four drivers have competed together throughout their careers, Habul and Gounon recently joined forces to finish third in the Dubai 24 Hour at the start of the 2022 season.

Gounon’s third and most recent visit to Mount Panorama was especially productive: the son of former F1 racer Jean-Marc winning the race with the factory Bentley M-Sport team.

He finished 16th on debut with Bentley in 2018 before finishing eighth the following year. The Frenchman was key to Bentley’s 2020 victory after surviving a late-race puncture and looming weather to cross the line first.

Stolz will also make his fourth 12-hour start this year, having already stood on the podium at Mount Panorama: The 26-year-olf German finished third in the 2018 race driving for Black Swan Racing, ironically one position behind Habul’s team in a dramatic race that was ended under a red flag.

Now a Mercedes-AMG supported driver, Stolz will split his time between GT World Challenge Europe commitments and the DTM in 2022.

Konrad was part of SunEnergy1 Racing’s 2020 12-Hour campaign, his first start on the Mountain.

The SunEnergy1 Racing team entry will be supported by Triple Eight Race Engineering, who will field an identical Mercedes AMG GT3 entry to be driven by Prince Jeffri Ibrahim, Shane van Gisbergen and Broc Feeney.

The 2022 LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour will be held on May 13-15, with tickets on sale now at Ticketek.