THE 2020 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour will have to be a pretty special race to topple the records set in the 2019 classic, twelve months ago.
The longest, fastest and in many people’s eyes the best 12-Hour ever, smashed many longstanding event records – some of which may be tough to beat this year despite what is one of the strongest collections of drivers, teams and brands entered in race history.
Here’s some of the markers the field will be aiming to best in 2020. Should some of them fall, quite a race will have unfolded to do it!
Lap and distance records
THE 2019 race smashed the 300-lap barrier for the first time, topping out at 312 laps and 1,938 kilometres of racing.
The raw pace of the field and long green flag periods mid-race saw teams pushed further than ever, making this not only the longest ever 12-hour, but the longest race in terms of distance held in Australia since the 2003 Bathurst 24 Hour.
This topped the previous record set in 2016 at 297 laps (1,845km) in the year McLaren won.
WITH record laps completed and record distances of course comes record speed – the two records go hand-in-hand.
Yet it’s still an impressive piece of Bathurst history given just how fast the 2019 12-Hour was.
The 2019 race was run at a breakneck pace and became just the third ever long distance race at Mount Panorama to be staged at an average speed of 161km/hr or better – 100MPH in the old scale.
The 161.06km/hr average speed made the 2019 12-Hour the third fastest distance race in Bathurst history: the 2013 Bathurst 1000 was run at 161.5km/hr and the 2018 race at a staggering 165.8km/hr.
So while completing 1000km in such a quick pace is remarkable, going nearly double the distance at the same speed is incredible.
It means that, removing just under nine minutes total time lost in pit lane and laps under Safety Car, the winning Porsche’s average lap time across the entire race was in the low 2m06s..
IT took some number crunching, but late in the race last year it was clear that at Four hours and 4 minutes, the field had completed the longest green flag period in race history.
111 laps were completed across the middle of the race without Safety Car interruption, the uninterrupted period of green running allowing the varying strategies to play out and ultimately helping define the thrilling final hour that delivered Porsche victory.
Lead Changes & Leaders
MORE proof that the 2019 race was a thriller shows when you look at the number of lead changes and the number of cars that led a lap across the duration.
There were 13 different leaders of the 2019 race; comfortably eclipsing the previous record of 10 set one year earlier.
Crucially, those 13 cars swapped the top spot 30 times; also a record.