Recently crowned seven-time Virgin Australia Supercars champion Jamie Whincup has confirmed he will return to defend his Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour victory, although driving for a different team and brand.
Whincup confirmed in a video interview with Speedcafe.com that he will partner expat Aussie Kenny Habul and former IndyCar racer Tristan Vautier in a Scott Taylor Motorsport-run Mercedes AMG GT3.
It comes following Maranello Motorsports’ decision to forgo February’s Intercontinental GT Challenge season-opener, after Whincup, Craig Lowndes and Toni Vilander stormed to victory this year.
The car will likely run under Habul’s SunEnergy1 banner that the former Australian F3 racer utilities in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
“I do have a deal, Scotty Taylor Motorsport is running a car for Kenny Habul. He does a lot of GT racing around the world and we’re going to run an AMG,” Whincup told Speedcafe.
“The second-quickest car that weekend was an AMG, so (I’m) jumping into that for the weekend.”
Habul raced in Australian F3 in the early 2000s before moving to the U.S., where he established large-scale Solar provider SunEnergy1.
The addition of the second STM car gives the Queensland-based team a strong two-car attack on next February’s race, having earlier confirmed Max Twigg, Tony D’Alberto and Craig Baird would drive the team’s other entry.
“We are ecstatic to have Jamie Whincup in the car, he won this year and he cemented the championship in Supercars, so you can’t get anyone more capable than him,” team owner Scott Taylor told Speedcafe.
“There is some pretty strong competition out there but the key to the 12 Hour is being there for the first 11 hours, and then you are in a position to challenge.”
Six Mercedes AMG GT3s are entered in the Feb. 2-4 event.