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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Ferrari Bathurst 12H Entry Unlikely

Ferrari set to miss rescheduled Bathurst 12H, putting IGTC season plans up in the air…

Photo: Ferrari

Ferrari is unlikely to have any cars at the rescheduled May edition of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, according to the manufacturer’s sports car racing director.

Antonello Coletta, who oversees the Attivita Sportive GT department, told Sportscar365 that Ferrari is not planning to freight any international cars to the event.

After a series of date adjustments, Bathurst now falls within the European sports car racing season on a May weekend that also includes rounds of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup and the European Le Mans Series.

Coletta furthermore expressed doubt in the possibility of a locally supported Pro entry at Bathurst, which opens the 2022 Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli season.

Ferrari committed to the full 2021 IGTC season after its victory at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa with its GTWC Europe Endurance Cup team.

It linked up with AF Corse to put two Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020s on the grid at the Indianapolis 8 Hour and the Joburg Kyalami 9 Hour, and came away with a drivers’ title for Spa winners Alessandro Pier Guidi and Come Ledogar.

However, the absence of Ferrari at Bathurst would likely dash the Italian manufacturer’s hopes of pursuing an accolade in the global GT3 series this year.

“We probably don’t have a car in Bathurst, and to be honest this is no good to be involved in this championship,” Coletta told Sportscar365.

“But we will see after it we can put some cars in Intercontinental GT and come back. It is clear that if we jump one race, we will have less chance to win [the title].

“But this is the real situation: the problem is that we have lots of races in little time and different parts of the world. This is not a help for our customers.

“The championships are very expensive and we need to understand the situation. We will see.

“I would like to have many Ferraris in every race, but this is the real situation. I need to reflect about it and we will see for the future. Now we don’t have another solution. This is the reality.”

Ferrari won the Bathurst 12 Hour with Maranello Motorsport in 2014 and 2017, but the independent Australian team is not planning to enter the race this year.

Managing director Mark Coffey told Sportscar365 that Maranello has been focusing on Ferrari sales, service and restoration services during the coronavirus pandemic, with domestic measures in Australia making it difficult to map out any race programs.

Maranello Motorsport hopes to return to the Bathurst 12 Hour grid in 2023, but the possibility of an entry in May has been ruled out.

Ferrari has also been represented at recent Bathurst editions by HubAuto Racing, but the Taiwanese team switched to Mercedes-AMG at the start of 2021.

“It’s normal in the past to have cars from the Australian team, Maranello Motorsport who won the race two times,” said Coletta.

“There are no teams racing with Ferraris in Australia with a budget to run [the 12 Hour].”

“For us it’s impossible to send a car to Bathurst, because many cars are in Europe and involved in other championships. For this matter, we are in this situation.

“I hope that in the future, when the situation is normalized with the pandemic problem, we have the chance to have this program and we come back with a car from the first race of the year.”

While its future IGTC involvement is to be determined, Ferrari will continue to support a pair of factory-driven Pro cars in GTWC Europe Endurance Cup.

As announced on Wednesday, Iron Lynx will continue to carry the banner for that program, while the driver lineup is expected to change significantly as schedules are adjusted to fit in with the development of the new 296 GT3 and the Ferrari LMH prototype.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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