Global GT stars fill Mercedes 12 Hour roster

  • Bathurst 12 hour
  • |
  • 1 Day ago
  • By Supercars.com

International stars of global GT racing fill out Mercedes-AMGs remarkable attack on the 2023 LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour.

Factory-supported teams GruppeM Racing and Craft-Bamboo Racing have confirmed their suite of drivers for their campaign to claim Australia’s International Enduro, and neither lacks firepower.

Craft-Bamboo will contest their sixth 12 Hour this year, with Lucas Auer, Nicky Catsburg and reigning Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli Champion, Daniel Juncadella.

The latter finished on the podium with the Hong Kong-based team last year on his Bathurst debut.

GruppeM meanwhile return for another shot at a Bathurst win with two of the most experienced internationals in 12 Hour history.

The squad is anchored by German Maro Engel and Italian Raffaele Marciello, with Canadian driver Mikael Grenier set to make his Bathurst debut.

Engel was second last year driving for Craft-Bamboo, while Marciello has been on the podium twice – and crossed the line in the top three in 2020 before a penalty relegated his car to sixth.

Both teams have also shown off stunning liveries to be sported by their respective V8-powered GT3 entries.

Those six drivers join fellow Mercedes-AMG aces Jules Gounon and Luca Stolz, who will join Kenny Habul in his SunEnergy1 Racing entry in a bid to deliver back-to-back Bathurst wins.

With Bathurst doubling as the opening round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge, four cars are nominated for the manufacturers’ competition.

The Mercedes-AMG teams Craft Bamboo Racing and GruppeM, Sunenergy1 Racing and a vehicle from Volante Rosso Motorsport, which will enter under the name Makita Volante Rosso Motorsport, are set to collect the first championship points of the 2023 season for Mercedes-AMG.

GruppeM will contest all rounds of the series with extended factory support.

Nine Mercedes-AMG GT3s will compete in this year’s race, the most of any GT3 model in 12 Hour history.

As has now become tradition, the race is due to start at dawn (05:45 local time) on Sunday 5th February.

“The LIQUI-MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour is one of the toughest races of the year and is of great importance to Mercedes-AMG Motorsport,” said Christoph Sagemüller, Head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport.

“This is reflected in the highly competitive standard of our teams and the record number of entries for both factory-supported and Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing teams.

"On top of that, I am proud that we have again been asked to provide the safety car for this year’s race. After all, safety is always a priority for Mercedes and AMG, and that of course also goes for motorsport.

“Having won the Bathurst 12 Hour in 2022, we are excited about the return of the Pro category this year and look forward to the challenge of defending this title in what will undoubtedly be a tough race against a top-class grid.

"The Mount Panorama Circuit is certainly one of the most challenging race tracks in the world, and I’m thrilled to be going in person to this unique race.”

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