This year, six Mercedes-AMG GT3s will be on the grid for the legendary Bathurst 12-hour race (1-3 February). This is the largest presence to date for the performance and sports car brand from Affalterbach in the classic endurance race that also serves as the season opener of the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli (IGTC). In the field of 28 GT3 cars, Mercedes-AMG has the largest contingent of all manufacturers. Various teams and team co-operations will be running the Mercedes-AMG GT3s, all with a top-class line-up: next to the reigning IGTC, Blancpain GT Series and DTM champions, the driver roster at the demanding Mount Panorama circuit also includes four Bathurst 12-hour race winners.
Mercedes-AMG has no lack of ambition for the 17th running of the 12-hour race at Bathurst: the SLS AMG GT3 having claimed victory in 2013, the Mercedes-AMG GT3 is also to feature on the winners’ list of the legendary marathon. In 2018, the brand only just missed out on achieving this goal with a second-place finish. This weekend, there will be six cars from Affalterbach competing in the ‘race to the top’ at Mount Panorama.
BLACK FALCON is running two Mercedes-AMG GT3s. After seven years, the German team is back to participate in the race again. With starting number 77, Maro Engel, Luca Stolz (both GER) and DTM champion Gary Paffett (GBR) will be racing for the Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo BLACK FALCON. In the #19 sister car, Yelmer Buurman (NED), Mark Griffith (AUS) and Christina Nielsen (DEN) will be alternating for the Griffith Corp. Team Nineteen, BLACK FALCON. Last year’s runners-up, SunEnergy1 Racing, have teamed up with Scott Taylor Motorsport to run the #75 Mercedes-AMG GT3 in the Intercontinental GT Challenge season opener. Drivers are defending IGTC champion Tristan Vautier (FRA), IGTC bronze champion Kenny Habul (AUS) and Thomas Jäger (GER), who managed to win the Bathurst 12-hour race in 2013.
The #888 Mercedes-AMG GT3 has no less than three Bathurst 12-hour race winners as its drivers: Craig Lowndes (AUS, winner 2014 & 2017), Jamie Whincup (AUS, winner 2017) and Shane van Gisbergen (NZL, winner 2016) are racing for the Mercedes-AMG Team Vodafone, the operation being run in a joint effort by Scott Taylor Motorsport and Triple Eight Race Engineering. A co-operation by Scott Taylor Motorsport and Erebus Motorsport is running as The Bend Motorsport Park with the #777 Mercedes-AMG GT3 for David Reynolds, Yasser Shahin and Luke Youlden (all AUS).
GruppeM Racing is making its Bathurst 12-hour debut. The winning team from the Suzuka 10-hour race is competing under the Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing banner. The #999 car will have Mercedes-AMG Drivers Maximilian Buhk (GER), Maximilian Goetz (GER) and Raffaele Marciello (ITA), the reigning Blancpain GT champion, taking turns behind the wheel.
Next to the six Mercedes-AMG GT3s, a car from Affalterbach will be on duty as the official safety car at Bathurst for the fifth consecutive year. It is the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4Matic+ (combined fuel consumption: 10.8/100 km, combined CO2 emission: 245 g/km)1. Traditionally, the race starts in the early morning hours of Sunday (3 February): at 5.45 hrs local time already, the participants will be heading out onto the 6.213 kilometres long Mount Panorama circuit.
Mercedes-AMG GT3 teams and drivers Bathurst 12 Hour*:
Griffith Corp. Team Nineteen, BLACK FALCON
Yelmer Buurman (NED), Mark Griffith (AUS), Christina Nielsen (DEN)
Kenny Habul (AUS), Thomas Jäger (GER), Tristan Vautier (FRA)
Mercedes-AMG Team Craft Bamboo BLACK FALCON
Maro Engel (GER), Gary Paffett (GBR), Luca Stolz (GER)
The Bend Motorsport Park
David Reynolds (AUS), Yasser Shahin (AUS), Luke Youlden (AUS)
Mercedes-AMG Team Vodafone
Shane van Gisbergen (NZL), Craig Lowndes (AUS), Jamie Whincup (AUS)
Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing
Maximilian Buhk (GER), Maximilian Götz (GER), Raffaele Marciello (ITA)
* subject to last-minute changes