The B12hr brands by the numbers – Audi

FOUR of the world’s best brands will go head to head for victory in the 2022 LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour, as the battle of bragging rights between manufacturers continues on the Mountain. 

Intense manufacturer competition has been a staple of Australia’s International Enduro since it switched to GT regulations more than a decade ago, with some of the most exclusive and well-known brands from around the world investing heavily into adding a Bathurst victory to their respective motorsport records.

Whether it was Nissan’s remarkable 2015 triumph, Porsche finally breaking through in 2019 or Bentley dominating in 2020 after six years of heartbreak, it’s a race the key brands want to win.

And 2022 will be no different, as Audi, Mercedes-AMG, Porsche and Lamborghini front up in the outright category.

Each brand has a track record on the Mountain – some better than others – so here’s how each of the four marques involved this year stack up over the last 10 years of 12-Hour races.

First up? The best of the best – here’s how Audi fare in Bathurst’s 12-hour battle.

AUDI 

THREE victories make Audi the most successful brand in the GT-era history of the Bathurst 12 Hour, and equal-most successful of all time. A win this year would be their fourth on the Mountain, taking them past Mazda, who with their dominant RX-7 crushed the field in the early 1990s in the first Production Car era.

57 Audi R8s across two generations have started the 12-Hour races since their debut in 2011; victories coming that year, in 2012 and again in 2018 with the second-gen R8.

That’s more starts than any other brand in the GT history of the race.

The V10-powered car’s all-round strengths have made it a regular contender year in, year out; the R8 netting Audi more top-10 finishes than any other brand as well.

Having said that, Audi’s only feature on the podium on two other occasions outside of their winning years: they finished 1-2 in 2011, while a last-corner lunge from the incredible Laurens Vanthoor saw him hustle the car he was sharing with Markus Winkelhock and Marco Mapelli to second in the thrilling final stages of 2015’s epic.

Audi are again the most numerical brand this year, with seven cars entered in what surely represents their best chance yet to add a record fourth victory on the Mountain.

In qualifying trim, Audi has three pole positions to their credit: 2011, 2012 and in 2015 by that man Vanthoor.

They’ve also been on the front row a further three times: qualifying 1-2 in 2011, second in 2016 (Rene’ Rast’s incredible 2m01.8s lap at the time the second quickest in Bathurst history, but quickly forgotten by SVG’s heroics in his McLaren) and also second in 2018 thanks to a Kelvin van der Linde Shootout flyer.

Audi also set the fastest lap of the race in 2011 (Lowndes), 2015 (Vanthoor, of course) and last year thanks to van der Linde’s late-race efforts.