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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Bathurst 12H Shifts to Pro-Am Format; 2023 Date Confirmed

Pro class eliminated in effort to attract additional entries for this year’s postponed Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12H…

Photo: Bathurst 12H

A revised class structure and event format has been confirmed for this year’s postponed Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, which will shift to a largely Pro-Am race.

Also confirmed are the dates for next year’s event, with key stakeholders locking the event in for Feb. 3-5, 2023.

The 2022 edition of the internationally-renowned enduro, running May 13-15 at Mt. Panorama, will be contested primarily as a Pro-Am affair with one FIA Bronze-rated driver required in each car competing in the outright GT3 class.

The decision has been made due to quarantine requirements for competitors from key Asian markets and New Zealand along with the continued global freight challenges that has made it difficult for international entrants to bring their full complement of equipment and personnel to this year’s event.

International teams and drivers will continue to be welcomed to this year’s event to challenge the likes of reigning Repco Supercars Championship winner Shane van Gisbergen, who will drive in the already confirmed Triple Eight Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo entry alongside Broc Feeney and Prince Jefri Ibrahim.

Key manufacturer support for the event will allow the Bathurst 12 Hour to remain the opening round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli.

The Bathurst 12 Hour will also become the opening round of the 2022 Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia season.

“Barring situations outside of our control I was determined that Bathurst would return to the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli calendar in 2022, and this new class structure ensures it can do just that without diminishing the championship or event,” said SRO Motorsports Group founder and CEO Stephane Ratel.

“Factory teams and drivers usually make the headlines but the fact is amateurs and the Pro-Am class are the bedrock of global GT racing.

”There are also few, if any, races of Bathurst’s international stature where Pro-Am crews are the stars of the show. But that won’t be the case in May when some of the world’s best amateurs have a chance to win one of motorsport’s great endurance events.

“It feels like a genuine throwback to previous 12 Hours and GT racing generally of old.

“I’m also happy to see the race returning to its traditional early February date in 2023.

“Our only other option this year would have been to cancel the event, which neither SRO nor Supercars were willing to do.

“Equally, staging it in May isn’t compatible with European programs.

“We’ve found a smart solution for this year but are also looking forward to seeing Bathurst fully living up to its status as Australia’s International Enduro next season.”

This year’s event will feature extra practice for amateur drivers and a qualifying format where an aggregate lap time across multiple drivers in each entry will be recorded.

The amateur driver in each car will be required to set a lap time in qualifying to help determine grid positions.

The Pirelli Top-10 Shootout will remain as in previous years.

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