Australia’s longest race will next year also become one of the richest on the Australian calendar.
$50,000 AUD ($46,000 USD) will be awarded to the winning team of the 2015 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour in a joint effort by the promoter and the Bathurst Regional Council to celebrate Bathurst’s 200th anniversary.
Bathurst was proclaimed a town by Governor Lachlan Macquarie on May 7, 1815 and the Bathurst 12 Hour will bring both domestic and international recognition to the town’s anniversary, via a growing group of international teams, drivers, media and international coverage supporting the event.
The major prize adds to the prestige of a race already established as a ‘must win’ enduro both on the national and international racing calendars.
Detail changes have also been announced in relation to the Bathurst 12 Hour class structure, eligibility and technical regulations for the 2015 Event in an effort to further boost competition throughout the field.
All GT3-specification vehicles regardless of age will now be eligible only for Class A (GT3).
In previous years, older-model GT3 vehicles (including Audi R8s and Lamborghini Gallardo’s in 2014) were entered in Class B despite having a performance advantage compared to the GT3 Cup Car models that have traditionally made up the bulk of the entries within the class.
In 2015, Class B will be known as GT3 Cup and as such reserved for 2006-12 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup Cars and Porsche 911 Cup S vehicles only.
2014 model year GT3 vehicles will be eligible for the February 2015 race with new models, including the Bentley Continental GT3 and the Chevrolet Camaro GT3, added to the existing list of eligible vehicles (numbering more than 70 different models) for the first time.
Class A GT3 vehicles will once again utilise the established Blancpain Endurance Series Balance of Performance (BoP) regulations at Mount Panorama.
The remaining classes remain much the same structurally as 2014, with four invitational classes confirmed to join the three GT classes (GT3, GT3 Cup and GT4) to allow the widest possible vehicle eligibility list at the Event.
A maximum of three drivers per car will be allowed for vehicles entered in Class A (four in 2014), with several new trophies confirmed for 2015 that will allow more GT3 vehicles to compete for a Bathurst trophy.
Vehicles with two seeded drivers will be eligible to compete for Outright and Pro-Am trophies, while entrants featuring one seeded driver (or less) will be eligible to compete for the Outright and Gentlemen’s trophy.
The changes allow combinations with a focus on ‘Gentlemen’ drivers only an opportunity to still compete for a spot on the Bathurst podium, against teams with two professional drivers that have traditionally dominated the outright / Class A results list.
The new GT3 structure will allow the Outright, Pro-Am and Gentlemen’s first, second and third-placed finishers to all be presented with their trophies on the main podium following the conclusion of the race on Sunday, February 8.
Driver seeding for all other classes remains free, however must apply to the driver seeding regulations to be eligible to compete for the ProAm or Gentlemen’s Trophies, regardless of class.
Entries will open on 1 July 2014, with competitors entering prior to July 31 to receive a substantial discount on their entry fee in an ‘early bird’ incentive on offer from the Organisers. Entries for the 2015 race close on 11th December 2014.
The 2015 race will also commence at 6:00am on Sunday, February 8, 15 minutes earlier than the 2014 race.