Drivers and cars from around Australia and the world have started arriving at Mount Panorama for this weekend’s 2016 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 hour race.
Australia’s International Endurance race will bring together the best international GT and Sports Car drivers with Australia’s top V8 Supercars stars at one of the world’s most famous circuits.
The 2016 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour will be the 14th ‘around-the-clock’ enduro to be held at Mount Panorama and the 10th since the event retuned in 2007 – and the 2016 race promises to be one of the most competitive yet.
The assembled field is one the strongest ever and includes 11 different manufacturers, drivers from 15 countries and (a record) 8 former Bathurst 12 Hour race winners.
V8 Supercars biggest names including Garth Tander, Will Davison, Rick Kelly, Shane van Gisbergen, Scott McLaughlin and David Reynolds will face off against international stars including LeMans winner Guy Smith, GT champion Laurens Vanthoor, double winner Christoper Mies, teenage young-gun Austin Cindric and German legend Bernd Schneider.
A host of former Formula One stars, including Mika Salo, Markus Winkelhock and Andrea Montermini, will also line-up on the grid.
At least one winning driver from each of the last five years will return this year, while every brand to have tasted success in the 12-Hour’s GT era – Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari and Nissan – will search for more Bathurst glory.
Four former winners of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 will also feature on the grid alongside winners of the LeMans 24 Hour, Spa 24 Hour and a majority of the key endurance races around the world.
As well as V8 Supercars champions, the field includes former winners of the German Touring Car / DTM Championship, FIA GT / Blancpain Endurance Championship and multiple open-wheel champions.
An explosion in manufacturer interest in the race will see every major GT3 brand represented on the grid include some form of factory support, while fully ‘works’ teams from defending champions Nissan, Bentley and McLaren will be amongst the favourites.
An enormous Ferrari presence throughout Bathurst this week will see Ferrari owners from around the nation descend on Bathurst to watch the entries representing the Prancing Horse in action.
Mercedes-Benz will supply the official C63-S Safety Car, while Audi will also have a significant presence throughout the race week – and will also have the most number of contenders for outright victory this year (7).
Class racing will also be a feature of the event with fierce battles expected in the GT3 Cup Car and Invitational classes, each offering a diverse array of machinery and drivers searching for a place on the Bathurst podium.
The race will be broadcast live around Australia by the Seven Network with a mammoth 12.5 hour broadcast on Sunday, February 7. Australian audiences will also be able to stream the coverage live through Seven’s ‘PLUS7’ streaming service while international audiences will enjoy a dedicated stream via the Bathurst 12 Hour website.
Tickets can be purchased via Ticketek or at the gate. Limited campground sites remain available in the Reid / Sulman Park campgrounds at the top of Mount Panorama. Campsites can be booked via the 12 Hour website or at the event.
Full coverage details are available via the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour website, www.bathurst12hour.com.au
2016 LIQUI-MOLY BATHURST 12 HOUR – RACE FACTS
COUNTRIES REPRESENTED: 15
Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Belgium, Germany, Britain, Spain, The Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Finland, Hong Kong, Singapore and the USA.
MANUFACTURERS REPRESENTED: 11
Nissan, Audi, Bentley, Mercedes Benz, McLaren, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, BMW, Daytona and MARC Cars Australia.
FORMER BATHURST 12 HOUR WINNERS: 8
Craig Baird, Christoper Mies, Christer Jöns, Bernd Schneider, Thomas Jaeger, Mika Salo, Katsumasa Chiyo, Florian Strauss
SUPERCHEAP AUTO BATHURST 1000 WINNERS: 4
Garth Tander, Rick Kelly, Nick Percat, Will Davison.
2016 will be the 14th 12-hour endurance race at Mount Panorama and the 6th to feature GT3 vehicles as the outright competitors.
It will be the 10th Bathurst 12 hour race since it was returned to Australian Motorsport in 2007.
Mazda (3) has the most victories. Mitsubishi, Audi and BMW have two victories each, while Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, Ferrari and Nissan have one each. 8 different brands have won the 14 races.
30 drivers have won the Bathurst 12 Hour in its history.
8 drivers have won it twice: John Bowe, Garry Walden, Garry Holt, Paul Morris, Rod Salmon, Damien White, Darryl O’Young and Christoper Mies. Only Mies is in this year’s field.
Winning drivers have come from 7 countries: Australia, Hong Kong, Germany, New Zealand, Finland, Japan and Belgium.
The race averages 28 (70.8% of those starting) finishers
The record race distance by the winning car was 296 Laps (1839km), in 2014.
2014 was also the fastest race recorded, run at an average of 153 km/hr.
2014 also featured the closest finish of all time: 0.4138s.
5 of the last nine Bathurst 12 hour races have been decided by 10 seconds or less.
7 of the last 9 races have been decided by less than one lap.
On 5 of the last 9 occasions, the car to have led the most laps has not won the race. This includes 2014 (No. 1 Erebus Motorsport led 167 laps to the winning Ferrari’s 64) and 2015 (Phoenix Racing Audi led 115 laps to the winning Nissan’s 62 laps).
Although it only won by just 73 seconds, the victory by the No. 1 Audi in 2012 was the most dominant in B12hr history. Not only did they lead the most laps ever recorded by one car (168) they also led the most consecutive laps recorded (121) by a winner or otherwise.
2014 and 2015 both had 5 cars on the lead lap at the finish – a record for the race.
On only 2 occasions in the last 9 years (2007 and 2012) has the pole sitting car actually won the race.
The race averages 10 Safety car interruptions for an average of 32 laps in total.
The 2015 race featured a record 20 interruptions for a total of 73 laps – 27% of the race. The 2007 race featured just 6 SC periods for a total of 10 laps – the lowest ever.