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 big V8’s of Mercedes-AMG.
WHEN IT comes to the LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour, Mercedes AMG have actually been represented on the iconic Bathurst podium on more occasions than any other brand.
Their seven podium finishes represent a sensational strike rate with the three-pointed star brand represented on the dais in six of the last 10 races held.
Their lone victory came with the sensational SLS AMG GT3 in 2013 thanks to the efforts of Erebus Motorsport, and subsequent races have been a case of ‘nearly’ for the German brand.
They led late into the 2017 race thanks to canny pit stop strategy, before being hunted down by the flying Maranello Motorsport Ferrari on it’s fresher rubber and ultimately, famously, crashing out.
In 2018 they were second when the red flag dropped, ruing a case of ‘what might have been’ like so many others that year.
The AMG GT3s were close again in 2019 as GruppeM crossed the line second, though dropped to third with a late time penalty. Triple Eight narrowly missed the podium, finishing fourth by 0.2 seconds after a challenging weekend was made right by a late-race charge by Shane van Gisbergen.
The Kiwi was at it again in 2020, holding off defending winner Matt Campbell to again score a podium finish for the brand – but not quite get the top spot.
Triple Eight will again lead the Mercedes-AMG charge this year, but the six entries from the brand represent the equal most of all time in a Bathurst enduro.
The big Mercs have never lacked one-lap pace at Bathurst though; Erebus scoring pole with their SLSs in both 2013 and, emotionally, in 2014 when Maro Engel won the first Allan Simonsen pole award.
The flying Raffaele Marciello did the job in shootout-spec in 2019, edging out Maro Engel by 0.1 seconds to give Merc the front-row lockout. Only Audi have also achieved that feat.