On 4th February, the iconic Mount Panorama Circuit will host one of the most spectacular races in Australia: The Bathurst 12 Hour. Following its debut at this event in 2017, the BMW M6 GT3 returns to the grid at this year’s endurance classic. BMW Team Schnitzer from Germany and BMW Team SRM from Australia will each run a BMW M6 GT3. In addition, the Australian fans will see the new BMW M4 GT4 in action for the first time.
BMW Motorsport is sending four DTM drivers down under to support the teams. Marco Wittmann (GER) is returning to Bathurst for the second time, and will drive for BMW Team Schnitzer this year. He shares the cockpit with his fellow BMW DTM driver Augusto Farfus (BRA), who will fly to Australia straight from the 24-hour race in Daytona (USA) to make his debut in Bathurst. Local favourite Chaz Mostert (AUS) completes the trio in the #43 BMW M6 GT3.
Timo Glock (GER) is also set for his second appearance in Bathurst, having raced there last year. He joins Team Principal Steve Richards (NZL) in the #100 BMW M6 GT3 run by BMW Team SRM. The third driver in this car is BMW DTM newcomer Philipp Eng (AUT) who, like Farfus, is travelling straight from Daytona. This will be Eng’s first time racing in Bathurst.
The new BMW M4 GT4 is also set for its Bathurst debut this year. The newly-developed customer racing car for the GT4 category successfully completed its first race outing in customer hands at the Dubai 24 Hours (UAE) in mid-January and now takes its place on the grid at this classic Australian endurance race. BMW customer teams will run a total of four BMW M4 GT4s in Bathurst.
As well as the BMW M6 GT3, BMW Team SRM will also field the #44 BMW M4 GT4, with drivers Dean Grant, Xavier West and Cameron Hill (all AUS) sharing driving duties. The cockpit of the #30 BMW M4 GT4, run by the Boat Works Racing team, will be home to some well-known names: Australian racing legend Tony Longhurst is team principal and driver. He lines up alongside Matt Brabham (AUS), grandson of three-time Formula 1 world champion Jack Brabham (AUS), and Aaaron Seton (AUS). Daren Jorgensen, Cameron Lawrence, Brett Strom (all USA) and Kuno Wittmer (CAN) will alternate at the wheel of the Marc GT #13 BMW M4 GT4. The #15 BMW M4 GT4 will be run by Baigent Motorsport and driven by the New Zealand quartet of Kent Baigent, Neil Allport, Matt Spratt and Ash Blewett.
The Mount Panorama Circuit is located about 200 kilometres west of Sydney and is 6.213 kilometres long. The drivers must cope with 16 percent climbs in places. BMW currently has two overall victories to its name – in 2007 and 2010. The 2018 race will get underway at 05:45 local time on Sunday 4th February.
Quotes ahead of the Bathurst 12 Hour:
Marco Wittmann (BMW Team Schnitzer, No. 43 BMW M6 GT3):
“I am really looking forward to race again at the Bathurst 12 Hour in Australia. For me it will be my first race of 2018. Last year, it definitely was one of the highlights of my season, a really cool experience. I think that last year we have been pretty competitive and the performance of the BMW M6 GT3 was very strong. We hope to be strong again this year, to maybe have a little bit more luck and to fight for a top result. I’m in a very optimistic mood and looking forward to a great start to the new year.”
Augusto Farfus (BMW Team Schnitzer, No. 43 BMW M6 GT3):
“It is an honour for me to drive in Bathurst. It will be my first participation in the Bathurst 12 Hour, and my second time in Australia. As I heard from many drivers, Bathurst is one of the coolest circuits in the world. So it will be a nice and big challenge for me. With Marco and Chaz in the car we have a really strong line-up and so I am really looking forward to it. I think that the track might suit our car as last year the BMW M6 GT3 had a strong pace there. Overall, I can’t wait to get there.”
Chaz Mostert (BMW Team Schnitzer, No. 43 BMW M6 GT3):
“I’m pumped to be heading back to the Bathurst 12 Hour and to be back in a BMW M6 GT3. To be doing it with such an iconic team and with a driver line-up that strong is incredible. It’s a real honour, because I know that there are top level GT drivers all over the world doing their best to get on the Bathurst grid. These endurance events aren’t about being the quickest car out of the gate, it’s about us doing a solid job as a team, having the car prepped as well as possible, and settling on a set-up that will look after the tyres and brakes. We’re looking forward to having an exciting race.”
Timo Glock (BMW Team SRM, No. 100 BMW M6 GT3):
“I am really looking forward to being back in Bathurst. I have been there for the first time last year and I really enjoyed it. It was a big experience. I just love the track and the race itself as an event grew massively over the past years. It has a very good reputation so I am really looking forward to it. It is also good to be back behind the steering wheel and to shorten the break until DTM in Europe starts again. I can’t wait to do the first laps again around the Mount Panorama Circuit.”
Philipp Eng (BMW Team SRM, No. 100 BMW M6 GT3):
“It will not only be my debut at the Bathurst 12 Hour but in general my first time ever in Australia. It has always been my wish to go there and in addition I think that every race driver has to drive in Bathurst at least once. I am more than happy that I will do so now with BMW and with this line-up. I already did a billion laps on this circuit in the simulator, just because it is so much fun. It is great that I now can put a real tyre on the asphalt there. I think that with the car, the team and my strong team-mates we have all the required ingredients to be successful.”