Earl Bamber Motorsport has claimed victory in its GT3 debut, following a storming come-from-behind run by Matt Campbell in Sunday’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour.
Campbell took his No. 912 Porsche 911 GT3 R to a 3.441-second win over the No. 62 R-Motorsport Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 of Jake Dennis after a daring late-race pass for the win.
The Porsche Young Professional got around Dennis for the lead with nine minutes to go at Forrest Elbow and bridged out a gap in the closing moments of the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli season-opener.
It came after Campbell and the No. 42 Team Schnitzer BMW M6 GT3 of Chaz Mostert made contact while battling for third, moments before the final full-course caution with 30 minutes to go.
A post-race investigation for the incident by race stewards resulted in no further action.
Campbell shared driving duties with fellow Young Professional Dennis Olsen and Porsche factory driver Dirk Werner, marking Porsche’s first overall victory in the Australian enduro.
It came in the final professional outing for the German manufacturer’s previous-generation GT3 contender.
Dennis and the R-Motorsport Aston Martin, also in its last pro race, held on for second after fading late on double-stinted Pirelli tires.
Campbell, who emerged from the final round of pit stops in fifth, carved his way through the field as the only car to take fresh tires on his stop with 1 hour and 15 minutes to go.
A caution for the No. 50 M Motorsport KTM X-Bow GT4, which stopped on Conrod Straight, saw Dennis’ seven-second lead neutralized and set up for the dash to the finish.
Raffaele Marciello held off a hard-charging Shane van Gisbergen for the final podium position in third, in the No. 999 GruppeM Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3 he shared with Maxi Buhk and Maxi Gotz.
Mostert, who ran third in the closing stages, completed the top-five in the Schnitzer BMW, ahead of the No. 108 M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 of Andy Soucek, who lost nearly 40 seconds after stalling his car at pit exit on the final stop.
Six GT3 manufacturers finished in the top-seven, which all finished on the lead lap of the fast-paced race, which featured a four-plus hour green flag run.
GT3 Pro-Am class honors went to the No. 51 Spirit of Race Ferrari 488 GT3 of Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda and Paul Dalla Lana, which finished 9th overall.
It came after a rebounding from a heavy accident in Friday that saw the AF Corse-run squad rebuild the car overnight.
Defending IGTC manufacturer champions Audi had a race to forget, with its highest placed Audi R8 LMS finishing 14th overall after a steering rack issue delayed the No. 2 Team Vavoline entry by nearly ten laps in the eighth hour.
The sister factory backed No. 22 entry, meanwhile, was one of 15 retirements after multiple issues, including a collision with a Pro-Am class Mercedes.
Grove Racing’s Stephen and Brenton Grove and Ben Barker, meanwhile, picked up Class B honors in their No. 4 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car, with the No. 48 M Motorport KTM X-Bow GT4 winning in Class C.
RESULTS: Bathurst 12H