Having contended this year’s Australian GT season with a sole BMW M6 GT3, the BMW Team SRM outfit will expand ahead of the 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour to include a second car.
The two-pronged attack arrives as BMW celebrates its return to racing at Mount Panorama, as the 2017 12 Hour is set to mark the first time in two decades that a factory-supported BMW team has raced at Bathurst.
According to BMW Team SRM owner and lead driver Steve Richards, to be bringing BMW back to Australia’s most famous race track is a great honour.
“Bathurst is a special place and it’s an incredibly exciting time for BMW Team SRM to be entering the Bathurst 12 hour event, and to be a part of bringing BMW Australia back to Bathurst with the BMW M6 GT3,” said Richards.
“BMW recognizes the amazing passion for the M brand here in Australia, with incredibly strong sales throughout the range. We’re hoping to see a lot of BMW Motorsport fans and supporters at Mount Panorama next February, to share in the brand’s return to Bathurst.”
Driver lineups across the two cars will be finalised and announced closer to the event.
The 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour coincides with the 20th anniversary of BMW’s greatest triumph at Mount Panorama, Geoff and David Brabham winning the 1997 Bathurst 1000 in a BMW Motorsport Australia 320i.
The BMW brand has also tasted 12 Hour success, with Craig Baird, Garry Holt, and Paul Morris teaming up to win the 2007 Bathurst 12 Hour in a privateer BMW 335i. Two years later Holt, Morris, and John Bowe won the event again.
The renowned Mount Panorama circuit has also been a happy hunting ground for Steve Richards, who has won the Bathurst 1000 four times, the most recent victory coming alongside Craig Lowndes last year.
Richards is also a Bathurst 24 Hour winner, winning the short-lived endurance race with Garth Tander, Nathan Pretty, and Cameron McConville in 2002.
The 2017 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour for GT3 machines will be held from Feb. 3-5, 2017.