Mercedes-AMG squad GruppeM Racing has declared plans to enter the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour next year.
The Hong Kong-based team has become the first international outfit to commit to the opening round of the 2022 Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli season.
GruppeM runs Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evos but has not specified how many cars it will field in the race on Feb. 27. It is understood that the team is planning a one-car entry.
It finished third in the 2019 edition of the Bathurst 12 Hour with a Mercedes driven by AMG factory drivers Raffaele Marciello, Maximilian Goetz and Maximilian Buhk.
GruppeM returned to Bathurst the following year and finished second on the road, however its car driven by Marciello, Buhk and Felipe Fraga incurred a post-race time penalty for a pit stop infringement that ultimately relegated it to sixth overall.
The team made its DTM debut this year with a Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo driven by Daniel Juncadella and has committed to a two-car program in the series for 2022.
Team owner Kenny Chen indicated that further IGTC outings beyond Bathurst are being considered.
“This will be our third attempt at [the] Bathurst 12 Hour. We love the place,” he said.
“The track is great, it always gives an exciting race and the Aussie fans always give tremendous support, so the atmosphere is fantastic.
“In 2019 we came 3rd, in 2020 we came 2nd on track but were given a 30-second post-race penalty. For 2022 we are going for the win!
“Furthermore, we are looking to take the whole IGTC title. For 2022 we are expanding, with IGTC complementing our DTM challenge. We are very happy to be working with Stephane [Ratel], Benjamin [Franassovici] and the SRO team once again for IGTC.
“We know that even with the hurdles that COVID-19 creates, the great people at both Supercars and SRO will make Bathurst a huge success.”