Manthey EMA returns to Bathurst 12 Hour with two Porsches
Matt Campbell to race after winning Rolex 24 at Daytona last weekend
Team to run Pro and Pro-Am entries in 2024
Manthey EMA will return to the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour with a shot at victory in two classes following confirmation of their 2024 driving line-up.
The ongoing collaboration between the iconic German Porsche squad and the Aussie-based EMA Motorsport will see the squad field two Porsche GT3Rs in the race for the first time, both with outstanding driving squads.
The two-car team will see the Bausele Pro-Am class entry nominated under ‘The Bend Manthey EMA’ guise, field the number #911 and be driven by Yasser Shahin, Harry King and Belgian driver Alessio Picariello.
The team has shown off a stunning red, white and yellow livery on the car, the same model that finished second outright in 2023.
The iconic ‘Grello’ livery returns on Car 912 – a current-specification Type-992 GT3R - with former 12 Hour winner and current Daytona 24 Hours champion Matt Campbell leading the way. Campbell very nearly won the 2023 race for Manthey EMA last year, having previously helped Porsche claim their first Bathurst win (2019) and pole position (2020).
Last weekend, Campbell was part of the team that delivered Porsche Penske Motorsport victory in the Daytona 24 Hours race – his first in the around-the-clock epic.
"I'm really excited to be rejoining EMA Motorsport and Manthey for the 2024 Bathurst 12 Hour," Campbell said.
"It's one of my favourite events and tracks in the world. I might be a bit biased, but I really enjoyed last year and I hope we can improve one more position on our second place finish in 2023. I'm really looking forward to it."
The Queenslander will be joined by Belgian ace Laurens Vanthoor, who returns to Mount Panorama for the first time since 2020.
In six 12 Hour starts, Vanthoor scored the Allan Simonsen Pole award and finished second (for Audi) in 2015, finished fourth in 2016 and fifth in 2014 and 2018 – his first aboard a Porsche. His last start came in 2020 driving a Porsche with Earl Bamber and Craig Lowndes, finishing ninth.
They will be joined by Turkish rising star, Ayhancan Güven, a star of one-make Porsche Racing and more recently, the DTM. The 2024 Repco Bathurst 12 Hour will be his first start at Mount Panorama.
The sister car will be entered in the Bausele Pro-Am class with the experienced Shahin hoping to add a Bathurst win to his CV, which includes recent success in the Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia powered by AWS season competing with the Manthey EMA squad.
“The Bathurst 12 Hour is Australia's greatest race and our number 911 car will showcase the new partnership with Shell V Power,” Shahin said.
"It's probably the only race on home soil where the Bend-backed team has yet to win, so we'll be looking to change that with a strong performance and drive pairing. Harry was incredibly fast in the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia at Bathurst and Alessio is a recognised world-class driver. We are very well prepared for the race and will give it our all.”
The car sports the livery of The Bend’s major partner, Shell V-Power, who recently signed a 10-year naming-rights partnership with the venue. Shahin’s copilots include speedy Brit Harry King, who tasted success at Mount Panorama last October when he claimed the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia round at the circuit in a cameo performance, driving for EMA Motorsport.
30-year-old Belgian driver Picariello has enjoyed recent success competing in the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Asia and the European Le Mans Series, where he is a two-time champion in the GTE class.
Manthey Racing’s Patrick Arkenau said he was excited to be heading to the Mountain with such a strong two-car attack.
"After narrowly missing out on victory last year, we are delighted to be able to enter two cars at Bathurst this year. With car number 912, the latest generation Porsche 911 GT3 R, our clear goal is to finish one place further up the field this year after finishing second last year," Arkenau said.
"But with Matt and Laurens as vert experienced drivers and Ayhancan, who proved his talent in the DTM last eyar, we are very confident. The driver line-up for the 911.2 generation Porsche 911 GT3 R is also very strong.
"It's great to be competing at Bathurst together with Yasser, with whom we are also competing in the WEC this year. Harry King, who was very successful for EMA Motorsport in the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia last year, and Alessio Picariello complete the line-up with two strong drivers. The aim is to win the Pro-Am class and ideally finish in the top five in the overall standings.
"We are highly motivated: it is the first race of the year for our GT team and we are really looking forward to it."