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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Bathurst Saturday Notebook

John Dagys’ Saturday notebook from Mt. Panorama…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

***The No. 48 Interlloy Lamborghini Gallardo has been the first victim of the Mountain, following a heavy crash by John McIntyre in Saturday’s final practice. While the New Zealander was uninjured, the car has been withdrawn due to the amount of damage. It will result in a 36-car starting grid for the race tomorrow.

***Twelve of the entries will also be competing in the SRO’s new Intercontinental GT Challenge. Click Here for the entry list.

***Reigning 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Earl Bamber makes his second Bathurst 12 Hour start this weekend in a Grove Racing Porsche 997 GT3 Cup car, the same team that took the Kiwi to Class B victory in 2014. Earl’s younger brother, Will, is also taking part in this weekend’s race, at the wheel of Team NZ Motorsport’s Porsche Cup car.

***Porsche is expected to have an increased presence here next year, with at least three new 911 GT3 Rs poised to take part. Craft-Bamboo Racing, which has announced a technical partnership with Porsche, plans to run two cars, with Walkinshaw Racing having recently announced an Australian GT program that will likely include a Bathurst 12 Hour effort as well.

***Nissan has brought its 2015-spec GT-R NISMO GT3 here for the first time, instead of the previous-generation car it took to overall victory last year. The car will remain in Australia at Nissan’s V8 Supercars workshop and is already committed to taking part in the 2017 race.

***The new Mercedes-AMG GT3 made its Australian premier Saturday at Bathurst, with the new-generation unveiled in front of the Erebus Motorsport garage. While not competing this weekend, Erebus is expected to field two of the new cars in the Australian GT Championship later this year.

***Bentley Team M-Sport will not field its factory Continental GT3s in this year’s Nurburgring 24, with the British manufacturer instead relying on its new European partner, Abt Sportsline for the race, as well as early season VLN rounds.

***Bentley Motorsport director Brian Gush told Sportscar365 that M-Sport is currently slated to contest the entire Intercontinental GT Challenge, including the season-ending Sepang 12 Hours, with Bentley also evaluating a potential manufacturer entry into the FIA GT World Cup in Macau.

***As was the case in Dubai and Daytona, the new Audi R8 LMS makes its continent debut this weekend. Head of Audi Sport customer racing Romolo Liebchen said Australia is currently the car’s strongest market, with more than eight of the new-generation cars having been sold.

***Full coverage of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour will be available on the series’ official Web site, with the race getting underway Sunday at 5:45 a.m. local (Saturday, 1:45 p.m. ET). For Australian viewers, the entire race will be carried live on Channel 7 and 7Mate. Click Here for the race’s coverage guide.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John


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