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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Record 11 GT3 Manufacturers, 40-Car Entry for Bathurst 12H

Strongest-ever GT3 field to assemble for Bathurst 12 Hour with 40 cars in total…

Photo: Bathurst 12 Hour

This year’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour will feature a record 11 different GT3 manufacturers as part of a 40-car field for the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli season opener.

The provisional entry list for the Australian enduro was released on Monday ahead of the Feb. 4 around-the-clock enduro. 

A total of 34 GT3 cars will contest the event, the strongest GT3 grid seen yet at Mount Panorama.

While the overall car count stands at 40, two more than last year’s 38 starters, additional entries may still be added in the build up to the event.

Split between the Pro, Pro-Am and Silver categories, the manufacturer representation eclipses the previous record of ten brands set in 2019, 2017 and 2015.

It will feature cars from Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Honda, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG, Nissan and Porsche.

While some manufacturers will be running Evo models at Bathurst for the first time, the 2020 race will also mark the event debut of the latest-gen Aston Martin Vantage GT3, McLaren 720s GT3, Honda NSX GT3 Evo, and the second-generation 991-based Porsche GT3 R.

Mercedes-AMG’s GT3 Evo is also expected to take part, having been homologated by the FIA at the end of last year and having already taken part in a SRO-sanctioned race.

The highly anticipated maiden appearance on Australian soil for the Honda comes courtesy of JAS Motorsport, which as the factory Honda outfit, has committed to the full IGTC season.

Among the other teams on debut are Orange 1 FFF Racing Team, which has entered a Lamborghini, while Absolute Racing will compete with a pair of Porsches and Aston Martin customer racing outfit Garage 59 will bring two Vantage  entries.

A handful of teams have expanded their programs for 2020, including Audi Sport Team Valvoline, which will run a trio of Audis entries in the Pro class.

Triple Eight Race Engineering steps up to two Mercedes this year, with a Pro-Am entry supporting the team’s outright car and Walkenhorst Motorsport also campaigning a pair of BMWs.

Returning two-car efforts include Porsche outfit and defending race winners Earl Bamber Motorsport, Bentley Team M-Sport, R-Motorsport (Aston Martin) and KCMG (Nissan).

Among the single-car entries are HubAuto Corsa (Ferrari) and Mercedes from Craft-Bamboo Racing and GruppeM Racing.

Two entries are nominated for Class C (GT4), while four of the latest MARC II entries are expected to compete in the Invitational class. There are no Class B cars listed, which was intended for Lamborghini Super Trofeo entries.

Driver lineups, meanwhile, have not been released, although several teams have already confirmed their crews.

BATHURST 12H PROVISIONAL ENTRY LIST

Slade Perrins is an Australian-based junior reporter for Sportscar365. Perrins won the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars 'Young Gun Award' for journalism for his work with speedcafe.com.

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