The race takes place at the Mount Panorama circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales. Part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge and a highlight of the GT season, on a par with the 24 Hours of Nürburgring and the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, the Bathurst 12 Hour comprises two classes: GT3 and GT4. Given its international renown, it is hardly surprisingly to see sixteen drivers who took part in the last 24 Hours of Le Mans make the trip to Australia.
Like Le Mans, the Bathurst circuit is world-famous and reputed to be particularly challenging. Also like the Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans, the Mount Panorama track is a public road most of the time.
The 41-strong grid comprises 28 Class A GT3s such as the Audi R8 LMS, the Porsche 911 GT3-R, the Mercedes AMG GT GT3, the Aston Martin Vantage GT3 and the Nissan GT-R. Three Porsche Carrera Cup cars make up Class B and another six GT4s compete in Class C. Class I is for invited production-based or specialised endurance vehicles.
Kevin Estre is one of the sixteen Le Mans drivers to make the journey down under. Winner of LMGTE Pro with Porsche GT Team at the last 24 Hours of Le Mans, Estre takes the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3-R entered by Competition Motorsports/McElrea Racing this weekend. Romain Dumas and Sven Muller share the EBM Porsche 911 GT3-R with Frenchman Mathieu Jaminet. IMSA GTD and Le Mans ace Christina Nielsen has a seat in the Black Falcon-run Mercedes AMG GT3 fielded by Griffith Corp Team Nineteen. At Le Mans 24 Hours in June, Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda took turns in the LMGTE Am #98 Aston Martin V8 Vantage. This weekend, they’ll be sharing a Ferrari 488 GT3.
The 12-hour endurance race starts at 05:45 local time on Sunday 3 February.