- Biggest field of GT3 cars ever for Bathurst
- Debut of Honda NSX GT3
- McLaren, Aston Martin, Lamborghini and more on the way
The field has been set for what could be the fastest Bathurst endurance race in Mt Panorama’s long history, with 40 cars and eleven of the world’s best sports car brands set for the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
Set down for the first weekend of February, the huge field is a record for the event.
A who’s-who of world GT3 endurance racing is on the bill, with 34 cars in the top-tier GT3 category. Brands including Audi, defending winners Porsche, Bentley, BMW, Nissan and Mercedes-AMG will return to the mountain, while marques like McLaren and Aston Martin will step up their involvement.
As well, the event - now owned by Supercars - will see the debut of the Honda NSX GT3 car (below), with a single car to be run by Honda motorsport powerhouse JAS.
The 2020 race will also mark the Mount Panorama debut of the latest Aston Martin Vantage GT3, McLaren 720s GT3, Mercedes AMG GT3 EVO and the second-generation 991 Porsche GT3 R, among other updated ‘evolution’ models.
Teams who will make the trek to Australia include the Chinese-based Absolute Racing, who will field two 911s for a squad of factory Porsche drivers that includes defending winner and Aussie ace Matt Campbell, as well as the Lamborghini-backed Orange 1 FFF Racing Team, who will field a Huracan GT3.
Local entrants include a trio of semi-factory backed Audi R8s that will be bolstered by the arrival of works teams from Germany, along with two Mercedes-AMG GT3s for Triple Eight Racing.
Drivers are still to be sorted, but names like Garth Tander, Lee Holdsworth and Shane van Gisbergen have already been thrown in the mix. Expect Supercars pros like Jamie Whincup to return, along with Chaz Mostert and many others.
One entry that is confirmed is the Aston Martin trio of Supercars ace Rick Kelly, multiple-time IndyCar champion and Indy 500 winner Scott Dixon from New Zealand and Aston Martin factory racer Jake Dennis, driving a Castrol-backed Vantage GT3 for R-Motorsport.
Dennis finished second in 2019 after an epic battle with Campbell for the win late in the race.
The pace of the race is expected to be red-hot; the current 2min 01.5sec time set by van Gisbergen in 2016 could tumble this year, thanks to the lack of slower cars in the mix. The ‘slowest’ cars in the field for 2020 are likely to be the four Australian-made MARC II Mustangs, which can lap Bathurst at 2min 04sec pace.
The race entry number isn’t locked in as yet – the tiny GT4 entry of just two cars may well disappear, while more teams are understood to be in negotiations with race organisers.
Whatever the final number, watching 34 GT3 racers plunge into the darkness come Sunday February 2 is going to be incredible.
2020 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour – official entry list
|CLASS A PRO||1||Earl Bamber Motorsport||Porsche||GT3 R|
|CLASS A PRO||2||Audi Sport Team Valvoline||Audi||R8 – LMS GT3|
|CLASS A PRO||7||Bentley Team M-Sport||Bentley||Continental GT3|
|CLASS A PRO||8||Bentley Team M-Sport||Bentley||Continental GT3|
|CLASS A PRO||18||KCMG||Nissan GTR||Nismo GT3|
|CLASS A PRO||22||Audi Sport Team Valvoline||Audi||R8 – LMS GT3|
|CLASS A PRO||27||Hub Auto Corsa||Ferrari||488 GT3|
|CLASS A PRO||30||J.A.S Motorsport s.r.l (Honda Racing)||Honda||NSX GT3|
|CLASS A PRO||32||Walkenhorst Motorsport||BMW||M6 GT3|
|CLASS A PRO||34||Walkenhorst Motorsport||BMW||M6 GT3|
|CLASS A PRO||35||KCMG||Nissan GTR||Nismo GT3|
|CLASS A PRO||60||59Racing / EMA Racing||McLaren||720S GT3|
|CLASS A PRO||62||R – Motorsport||Aston Martin||Vantage AMR GT3|
|CLASS A PRO||63||Orange 1 FFF Racing Team||Lamborghini||Huracan GT3|
|CLASS A PRO||76||R – Motorsport||Aston Martin||Vantage AMR GT3|
|CLASS A PRO||77||Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing||Mercedes AMG||GT3|
|CLASS A PRO||222||Audi Sport Team Valvoline||Audi||R8 – LMS GT3|
|CLASS A PRO||888||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Mercedes AMG||GT3|
|CLASS A PRO||911||Absolute Racing||Porsche||GT3 R|
|CLASS A PRO||912||Absolute Racing||Porsche||GT3 R|
|CLASS A PRO||999||Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing||Mercedes AMG||GT3|
|CLASS A PRO AM||4||Grove Racing||Porsche||GT3 R|
|CLASS A PRO AM||9||Hallmarc||Audi||R8 – LMS GT3|
|CLASS A PRO AM||12||Earl Bamber Motorsport||Porsche||GT3 R|
|CLASS A PRO AM||75||SunEnergy1 Racing||Mercedes AMG||GT3|
|CLASS A PRO AM||188||Garage 59||Aston Martin||Vantage AMR GT3|
|CLASS A PRO AM||777||The Bend Motorsport Park||Mercedes AMG||GT3|
|CLASS A SIL||6||Wall Racing||Lamborghini||Huracan GT3|
|CLASS A SIL||24||Tony Bates Racing Pty Ltd||Audi||R8 – LMS GT3|
|CLASS A SIL||29||Trofeo Motorsport||Lamborghini||Huracan GT3|
|CLASS A SIL||59||59Racing||McLaren||720S GT3|
|CLASS A SIL||96||Brett Hobson||Nissan||GT-R NISMO GT3|
|CLASS A SIL||159||Garage 59||Aston Martin||Vantage AMR GT3|
|CLASS A SIL||TBA||TBA||Mercedes AMG||GT3|
|CLASS C GT4||13||RHC Jorgensen-Strom||BMW||M4 GT4|
|CLASS C GT4||TBA||TBA||TBA||TBA|