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Intercontinental GT Challenge

SRO Working “Daily” on Postponed Bathurst 12H

Decision to be taken “quickly” on IGTC element for Bathurst 12H amid depleted entry…

Photo: Kevin Pecks/SRO

SRO Motorsports Group is working “daily” on the subject of the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour according to company founder and CEO Stephane Ratel, who is still pushing for the delayed event to open the 2022 Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli season.

Initially scheduled for mid-March — on ‘Super Sebring’ weekend — before being moved to late February, the famed GT enduro at Mt. Panorama has since been postponed to May 13-15, which has caused logistical challenges for the majority of European entrants.

Ferrari, which won the 2021 IGTC drivers’ championship with Alessandro Pier Guidi and Come Ledogar, has essentially ruled out an entry while even four-time manufacturers’ champions Audi, which has a large Australasian presence through Melbourne Performance Centre, has admitted that getting factory drivers to the event could be a challenge amid the busy month of May.

The date currently clashes with the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup round at Magny-Cours, European Le Mans Series race at Imola, as well as the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Mid-Ohio.

Additionally, it falls just one week after the Nürburgring 24 Qualifying Race and two weeks prior to the German endurance classic, which many GT3 manufacturers prioritize.

“There was a questioning,” Ratel told Endurance-Info. “We are working on the subject daily because the objective is to go to Bathurst.

“I could have said, ‘Ok, we are going to race somewhere else.’ SRO Motorsports Group is doing everything possible to maintain its events.”

The 2021 IGTC season-ending Joburg Kyalami 9 Hour, which was contested last month after being postponed due to the onset of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, featured a 11-car grid. 

“In December, we had 22 cars at Kyalami,” Ratel said. “We were unlucky because part of the team had to leave the day after the country closed. All the equipment was already there.”

Despite the new date, several international teams could still be on the grid for Bathurst. 

GPX Martini Racing and GruppeM Racing have signaled plans, while Australian powerhouse squad Triple Eight Race Engineering recently confirmed a Pro-Am class effort featuring Shane van Gisbergen.

“The manufacturers were keen to go to Bathurst,” Ratel said. “The date change has called everything into question. We have customers who tell us that they want to go [while] others make us understand that it is no longer possible given the new date.

“The situation is not obvious and we will make a decision quickly.”

Laurent Mercier contributed to this report

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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