The resolved clash between February’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour and the planned FIA World Endurance Championship round on the same weekend leaves Matt Campbell “extremely excited” by the opportunity to now compete in both.
Next year’s Bathurst 12 Hour, slated for the weekend of Jan. 31-Feb. 2, was due to conflict with the planned WEC 6 Hours of Sao Paulo.
However, it was announced earlier this month that the Brazilian event would be canceled and replaced by a race at Circuit of The Americas, with the event’s date also pushed back by three weeks to Feb. 22-23.
It means that Campbell and a number of other drivers who are entered in both the current WEC season and next year’s Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli can compete in both races.
It also presents Campbell, who is now a factory Porsche driver, the opportunity to defend his Bathurst 12 Hour crown after the Australian was part of this year’s winning squad.
“Extremely excited,” Campbell told Sportscar365 when asked for his reaction to the resolution.
“I mean, I wasn’t too sure what was going to happen there and what event I was going to do at the time.
“Obviously being an Australian, [the] Bathurst 12 Hour is my favorite race track in the entire world, especially after what we achieved this year, it was one I was wanting to really push for and go back to.
“Now that everything has been changed around it’s perfect, I can do both the weekends and there are no more clashes [this season between WEC and IGTC].
“[I] couldn’t be happier and to come back [to] Bathurst; it’s really exciting.”
Possible Other Clashes Still to be Resolved
Campbell confirmed his full season IGTC campaign but says it’s still unclear whether he will be completing the full 2019-20 WEC season, highlighting “possible other clashes”.
The 24-year-old will form part of Porsche’s lineup for the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Michelin Endurance Cup races in 2020, including Sebring which will again see WEC and IMSA at the same event.
This presents a possible conflict, as no factory Porsche drivers took part in both races on the same weekend this year.
When pressed on what possible clashes there are, Campbell said that’s something he and Porsche are still “working through” as well.
Campbell Hoping for Success in Bahrain
With a best finish of fourth in GTE-Am this season in the No. 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche 911 RSR alongside Christian Ried and Riccardo Pera, Campbell is hoping they will be able to turn around their fortune in Bahrain this weekend.
“I wouldn’t say we’ve had the strongest start compared to last year; it’s been a bit frustrating this year at times and a bit of bad luck on our side,” he said.
“Certainly we want to end the year on a high now and aim a lot higher than we have been this year so far and iron out a few areas that we’ve been focussing on the last two rounds.
“I think it’s going to be a bit of a challenge this weekend; it’s my first time here and first time for the team here in this generation of car, so for sure practice will be critical, but [it is a] different format to our last rounds being an 8 Hour coming from a 4 and 6-hour format.”