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Maranello Ferrari Wins Wild Bathurst 12H

Vilander, Lowndes, Whincup win incident-filled Bathurst 12H…

Photo: Bathurst 12H

Photo: Bathurst 12H

Maranello Motorsport has claimed victory in a wild Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, as the contending STM Mercedes-AMG GT3 self-destructed in the hands of Shane Van Gisbergen in the closing minutes.

Australian Supercars star Jamie Whincup took the No. 88 Ferrari 488 GT3 to a one-lap victory over the No. 12 Competition Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R of Matt Campbell in second, following a dramatic late-race sequence of incidents ending in retirement for the AMG GT3.

Van Gisbergen, who inherited the lead following a fuel-only stop, lost the position to his Triple Eight teammate Whincup with 40 minutes to go, only to make contact with an GT3 Am class Porsche ten minutes later.

The Kiwi, who was then handed a penalty for the incident, crashed out at the top of the mountain following the restart, ending he, Maro Engel and Craig Baird’s race with 15 minutes remaining.

It gave Whincup clear sailing to the finish, claiming victory alongside fellow Supercars ace Craig Lowndes and Ferrari factory driver Toni Vilander, who arguably had the drive of the race.

While locked in the late-race battle with Van Gisbergen, the Ferrari, particularly in the hands of the Finn, held the upper hand throughout most of the caution-filled race, which saw a record 16 safety car periods.

Lowndes and Maranello scored their second Bathurst 12 Hour victory in the last four years, after their triumph in 2014.

Campbell, in his debut race as a Porsche Junior, brought the U.S.-based Competition squad home in second overall, benefiting from Van Gisbergen’s race-ending accident.

It came after three penalties for the Porsche, including one for the 21-year-old Australian, who made contact with a Lamborghini with 1 hour and 8 minutes to go after a fuel-only stop.

Reigning FIA World Endurance Champion Marc Lieb, Porsche factory driver Patrick Long and David Calvert-Jones completed the lineup in the Competition Porsche, which also picked up GT3 Pro-Am class honors.

The No. 17 Bentley Team M-Sport Bentley Continental GT3 of Steven Kane, Guy Smith and team debutant Oliver Jarvis completed the overall podium in third, ahead of the No. 912 Walkinshaw Porsche, which took GT3 Am honors with a surprise 4th place overall result.

It came after a final-lap incident that knocked the No. 1 Tekno Autosports McLaren 650S GT3 to fifth, after a late-race charge from defending Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup champion Come Ledogar.

The No. 32 Lago Racing Lamborghini R-EX was sixth overall, followed by the best of the Audi R8 LMS cars, the No. 3 Team ASR entry in 7th.

It was a race to forget for both BMW and Audi, with the works-supported entries dropping out of contention early.

Frank Stippler crashed his No. 74 Jamec Pem Audi R8 LMS on Lap 6 to bring out the race’s first yellow, while Christopher Mies was hit by the No. 12 Competition Porsche of Calvert-Jones, sending the No. 75 car to the garage.

While the No. 90 MARC Cars Australia BMW M6 GT3 led in the second hour in the hands of Chaz Mostert, an accident by co-driver Max Twigg ended their day.

The No. 7 Team Castrol Vodafone BMW also retired following an accident, by Russel Ingall, while the No. 60 BMW Team SRM entry lost four lap with a hydraulic leak in the 2nd hour.

Porsche’s all-factory contender, run by Walkinshaw, was also an early retirement after Earl Bamber collided with a GT4 car, damaging his car’s steering rack.

Nissan also had a challenging race, with gearbox issues plaguing both GT-R NISMO GT3s, with the No. 24 entry coming home in 8th overall.

Class B honors went to the No. 21 Steve Richards Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car of Dean Grant, Dylan Okeeffe, and Xavier West, following a race-ending accident for pre-race favorite Grove Racing in the opening hour.

The No. 91 MARC Cars Australia Ford Focus V8 of Keith Kassulke, William Brown and Rod Salmon claimed the Class I win, while the No. 19 Prosport Performance Porsche Cayman GT4 picked up the trophies in Class C.

RESULTS: Bathurst 12H

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John



  1. jmcn R

    February 5, 2017 at 2:44 am

    Wow, this summary of the finale tells me I am going to have a great rerun of the race to watch tomorrow evening.

    • Rossi

      February 5, 2017 at 6:49 am

      Some 40% aprox of the field DNF’d ,with emphasis on the F’d .
      .Bathurst is a notorious and unforgiving at speed drivers track with no room for excuses or rookie antics

  2. Joe B

    February 5, 2017 at 4:46 am

    If you look at the last three endurance races driver quality has really deteriorated So many accidents and incidents

    • Darrell

      February 5, 2017 at 5:43 am

      Yes in the old days drivers used their brains as well as their b*lls

  3. Patric

    February 5, 2017 at 5:00 am

    I agree with Engel

  4. Rossi

    February 5, 2017 at 6:39 am

    I agree with Engel’s comment,
    The AMG after many penalties just didnt have their brains into gear,arrogance? Even from the start by punting the winning Ferrari of the track after the yellow flag was a sign of more to come ,
    Much blood rush to the head driving then a dummy spit by dumping it on the track after the into the wall episode during the race.
    Poor form!

  5. FlyingLobster27

    February 5, 2017 at 7:12 am

    Van Gisbergen got desperate after Whincup passed him, it was win or straw bails. Like Maro “just leanin’ on my opponent to make the corner” Engel hasn’t been there… It’s just a pity SVG took another car with him on the way to the straw bails.

  6. Jc

    February 5, 2017 at 8:51 am

    Race control and marshals should be given a big atta boy for the way they ran the race.

    Multiple cautions, but the incidents were cleared right away and did not take 30 mins apiece to reshuffle the deck/have designated pit access/pick up phantom debris. Penalties were given out fairly and quickly – and none was a crazy “hold for x minutes” that we saw last weekend.

    If under imsa race control, this event would have been under yellows for 10 hours. Well done Aussies!! I seriously enjoyed this entire race

    • JBV

      February 5, 2017 at 9:29 am

      Agreed, the folks at race control managed the race superbly and quickly made consistent determinations relative to on-track incidents.

    • Decent racing fan

      February 5, 2017 at 9:35 am

      Do you actually know IMSA rules or just spout bs like the uninformed idiot I’m guessing you are?? They published the penalties before the season and the penalty times were released after practice as an estimate of 2 laps, 1 lap for the lap gained passing the SC and a 1 lap penalty. The times are for each class to estimate 2 laps, and with more offenses the penalties rise.

      It’s not that hard to understand. The passion for a BORING crashfest track is what’s hard to understand. But then I hate Daytona’s track as well and wish it would end already, it’s way too boring for a 24 hour race.

      • J~

        February 5, 2017 at 11:33 am

        Lol….that makes sense to you? And Bathurst is a “boring track”? This must be Kelly Ann Conway and Alternative Facts

      • Amlv20

        February 5, 2017 at 12:20 pm

        Lol boring crash fest track?lol,Daytona is a roval and Sebring is a damn flat air field.some how Imsa turns these tracks with run off into crash fests,Bathurst is a real racers track that takes balls of steel to go fast up and down the mountain,very unforgiving with no room for mistakes.its a gem of old school race tracks lost to the world hidden down in Australia not a modern run off filled pussy foot it racetrack…..

        • Racing, not crashing, fan

          February 5, 2017 at 12:47 pm

          I’m sorry, where’s the ‘modern’ runoff at Sebring??
          It’s not an alternative fact, it’s an OPINION. I know you don’t like it but guess what, we can disagree about the tracks. It is actually still allowed you know. It is a BORING as hell race and CRAP drivers make it a TERRIBLE racing track. Qualifying is great but two cars can’t actually race because it’s too damn skinny for GT3/4 cars anymore. Leave it to Mini racing.

          And IMSA races end up with crashes for the same reason Bathurst did, shit drivers with terrible car control. The actual drivers make it decent at times. But hey, see what you want and then make up your own facts after.

          And I believe I INCLUDED Daytona as a crap race, reading comprehension is important.

          • Amlv20

            February 5, 2017 at 12:52 pm

            Then you must also be that guy that thinks Le Mans and Nurburgring are boring ass races….

    • Dun blowed up

      February 5, 2017 at 11:20 am

      I agree the marshals did a great job in a safe and orderly manner. . Not sure what Decent Racing Fan is ranting about. Daytona is a totally different animal from Bathurst

  7. TuckerC

    February 5, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Loved this race… and the outcome. And definitely agree with those that think nascrap/IMSA takes way, way too long with their yellows. Another observation: the fences at Mount Panorama are about 3′ tall so you can lean on them or shoot photos over them. At Daytona, the fences are at least 6′ high and if you don’t have a step ladder you are out of luck. I guess that’s the difference between real race fans and the drunks that nascrap seems to draw.

    • Mo

      February 6, 2017 at 8:20 am

      You obviously haven’t been to an IMSA event. There are just as many drunks at Bathurst as any IMSA event. I see many real race fans at IMSA events. Also, if you don’t like the catch fence at Daytona, go watch from the infield. Did you even know you could do that? And that IMSA takes too long with their yellows is nothing but andetotal nonsense that’s parroted as fact.

  8. Kent Wenzel

    February 5, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Congratulations to Bob Faieta and the whole Competition Motorsports crew.

    Kent Wenzel
    Aerowerks Consulting

  9. Mike S.

    February 5, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Not defending any of SVG’s moves. They seemded to get worse as the pressure mounted but to stop on the track on purpose topped it for me. What an unsportsmanlike move. Then not disagreeing with Engel but what a whining baby. Totally unprofessional for him to say that. You go back in the hauler and hash it out like a man. He is obviously someone that has no control of his emotions or mouth which is unprofessional. Mercedes AMG should hammer him for this aspect as it makes them look even worse as a team.

    • KW

      February 5, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      I wouldn’t say it was unprofessional that Engel critizised his teammate – it was said during the first moments of frustration, after his teammate had thrown away a safe podium finish. In a later statement just minutes later Engel excused himself already. You should allow that during moments of frustration after a long 12-hour race things are said that are not “diplomatic” or “professional”…

      • Mike S.

        February 5, 2017 at 5:28 pm

        Yes, sure freedom of speech no problem but for any organization whether it’s a business, charity or any entity there are consequences for acting that way. At least SVG stood there and said sorry like 8 times about pushing beyond the limits. Sorry to Porsche he took out, sorry to team and said he will talk to Engel about it. All of which seems to soften his on track actions a little. Accepted blame. All of which makes Engel look even worse for what he said.

  10. Jenner

    February 5, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    Awesome racing, even more awesome of a track. Would love to sit on the mountain some day and watch these guys flying up and down that track.

    Is this an invitational event, like LeMans?

    Surprised there’s no American teams over there since they’re just buffing their cars till Sebring.

    Congrats to Competition Porsche and Patrick Long, always fun to watch him racing.

  11. Aye matey!...

    February 5, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Simple as to why no US teams at this race, its definately a great race but no money to be made and it’s just too soon after Daytona for it to be feasible…just how it seems…

    • Gene

      February 6, 2017 at 10:57 am

      I am pretty sure that Competition Motorsports is in fact a US based team.

      • KW

        February 6, 2017 at 1:18 pm

        Sure, founded by Bob Faieta and based in Tujunga, California.

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