hero-img

Aussie star claims comeback Bathurst win for Porsche

18 Feb
Matt Campbell and Manthey EMA have delivered Bathurst 12 Hour victory for Porsche despite a penalty and compromised strategy
5 mins by James Pavey
Advertisement
  • Aussie star Matt Campbell scores second 12 Hour win

  • Over 47,000 fans attend 2024 Repco Bathurst 12 Hour

  • Jules Gounon misses out on fourth straight win by just 2.6s

Matt Campbell has brought home a stunning Repco Bathurst 12 Hour win for Porsche, with Manthey EMA delivering victory despite a penalty and compromised strategy.

Campbell, who claimed his second Bathurst 12 Hour victory, denied Jules Gounon a record fourth straight win after a Safety Car restart late in the race.

Queenslander Campbell — who won the Rolex 24 at Daytona two weeks ago — raced to victory with Laurens Vanthoor and Ayhancan Güven, who claimed their first wins in the race.

Gounon — who was less than three seconds from a fourth win — still managed to deliver a third straight podium for SunEnergy1 Racing, Luca Stolz and Kenny Habul after a tense battle in the dying minutes.

The Andorra-based driver was forced to hold off a charging Jaxon Evans, with an attack at The Chase helping the #22 Wash It Team MPC Audi of Christopher Haase/Kelvin van der Linde/Liam Talbot clinch third.

Final lap: Campbell brings home stunning win for Porsche

The move also denied the #46 BMW of Valentino Rossi/Maxime Martin/Raffaele Marciello and Team WRT a podium, on a day the sister pole-sitting car dramatically crashed out in the first half of the race.

Evans/Bastian Buus/Joel Eriksson made it a Porsche one-four result in the #13 Phantom Global entry, with the #46 fifth ahead of the #888 National Storage Mercedes-AMG of Mikaël Grenier/Broc Feeney/Will Brown.

Remarkably, Manthey EMA did the double, with Alessio Picariello/Yasser Shahin/Harry King winning the Pro-Am class in the #911 The Bend Porsche.

A record eight cars finished on the lead lap, with six cars — including the #32 WRT BMW and #77 Craft-Bamboo Mercedes-AMG — not classified.

"That feels awesome," Campbell said.

"Hats off to everyone at Manthey EMA, we were always running at the front, but it wasn't easy with the mixed conditions.

"To Larry and Ayhancan, they did a fantastic job. We kept it off the walls... phenomenal. Second win, it's unreal."

After the nine-hour mark, Güven took the lead from Thomas Randle, who was a surprise leader in the #222 STM Mercedes-AMG after a well-timed Full Course Yellow period.

Gounon hangs onto second after bold Evans lunge

Randle had enjoyed a 11.8s lead over Güven, who slashed the margin in a matter of laps before passing the Supercars driver down Conrod Straight.

The drama continued down the order, with the #130 GruppeM Mercedes-AMG and #77 Craft-Bamboo Mercedes-AMG hit with drive-through penalties over a breach of Balance of Performance rules.

The #130 and #77 were found to have exceeded maximum stint length — but the #77 didn’t get to serve its penalty at all, with Juncadella slapping the wall at Reid Park.

Buus charged after Randle and passed the #222 Mercedes-AMG for second — but by then, Güven was several seconds up the road when the #912 stopped for the penultimate time.

Advertisement

Buus, Randle — who held off Stolz — and Marciello stopped with 90 minutes remaining, 20 minutes after Güven pitted. 

Randle handed over to Waters, while Buus emerged line astern with Güven, with the two Porsches trading places through the Cutting. As Buus battled on cold tyres, Güven quickly built a healthy margin.

Waters, meanwhile, was cleared by Marciello and Haase as the final stops loomed. Marciello brought the #46 WRT BMW in on the brink of the 12th hour, with the BMW — with Martin taking the reins — taking on dry Pirelli tyres. 

Waters, having fallen 15 seconds behind Haase, was brought in on the next lap in the #222 STM Mercedes-AMG. A lap later, Stolz — handing over to Gounon — and Haase made their final stops.

Vortex gets stuck on Griffins Bend kerb

Haase emerged just ahead of Martin, who had brought his #46 WRT BMW up to temperature. Martin rounded up the #22 into the Cutting, but had 24 seconds to find on Gounon.

Phantom Global brought the #13 Porsche in, with Buus handing over to Evans. On the following lap, Manthey EMA responded and put Campbell in, ending Güven’s spirited drive.

When Campbell resumed, the #912 Porsche was 12 seconds ahead of a rapidly-closing Gounon —  but the race turned on its head again when the #701 Vortex, driven by Julien Boillot, hit trouble.

Boillot rotated at Griffins Bend, and in an effort to right the car, got stuck on the kerb and set grass, triggering another Safety Car — wiping out Campbell’s 12-second lead over Gounon.

Campbell led Gounon, Evans, Martin, Haase, Waters, and Grenier to green, with Engel nine seconds behind in traffic. Campbell fired in a 2:06.2632s on his standing lap, while Gounon lost 1.5s in one lap alone and fell into the clutches of Evans and Martin.

Porsches fight for overall race lead

By the end of the second flying lap, Campbell opened by a 2.8s lead, with Gounon fighting the #75 SunEnergy1 Mercedes-AMG under fading light at Mount Panorama.

Campbell cleared the #230 Method Motorsport McLaren of Tom McLennan, but Gounon wasn’t as fortunate, losing four seconds into Forrest’s Elbow. It helped Campbell open up a 6.3s lead with 16 minutes remaining. 

With seven minutes to go, Evans lunged on Gounon at The Chase, bringing Haase and Martin into play. Gounon hung on, but Martin was held out to dry as Haase cleared Evans up Mountain Straight.

As Campbell cruised to a 2:05.3709s on what proved the penultimate lap, Gounon and Haase went into the 2:03s. Campbell then caught the #702 IRC, but pushed the gap back out to 3.7s, eventually winning by the official margin of 2.6336s after 275 laps.

The #93 Wall Racing Lamborghini of Tony D’Alberto/David Wall/Grant Denyer/Adrian Deitz claimed victory in the Silver class in 12th overall.

GT4 victory went to the #19 Mercedes-AMG of Mark Griffith/Adam Christoudolou/Daniel Bilski in 17th, with Daniel Jileson/Adam Hargraves/Cedric Sbirrazzouli helping the #20 IRC GT — which was rebuilt overnight — to Invitational victory in 19th.

MySupercars+ Promo

Related News

Advertisement