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Huge field of fast cars set for manic Bathurst 12 Hour

By Tim Robson, 13 Jan 2020 Bathurst 12 Hour

Bathurst 12 Hour 2020

Record numbers of GT3 cars and brands look set to smash the two-minute barrier at Mt Panorama

  • 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.

Bathurst 12hr 2020

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.

Bathurst 12hr 2020

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.

READ MORE Craig Lowndes bumped from Triple Eight for 12 Hour

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   TEAM MAKE MODEL
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
INV 20 T2 Racing MARC II
INV 91 Ryan McLeod MARC II
INV 92 Ryan McLeod MARC II
INV 95 CJ Motorsport MARC II