Unrestricted Mercedes-AMG hits new heights at Mount Panorama

Bathurst 12 Hour
17 Feb
Jules Gounon broke the unofficial track record for GT cars around Mount Panorama on Saturday
  • Jules Gounon sets unofficial GT record at Mount Panorama

  • Three-time 12 Hour winner clocks 1:56.6054 lap

  • Frenchman sets lap time in unrestricted Mercedes-AMG GT3

Saturday at the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour proved a momentous occasion for Jules Gounon and Mercedes-AMG, with new ground being broken at Mount Panorama.

Gounon, the three-time defending 12 Hour winner, clocked a 1:56.6054 lap in an unrestricted Mercedes-AMG GT3.

While an unofficial lap record, Gounon’s time was quicker than the previous closed-cockpit track record, a 1:58.690s set in 2019 by Luke Youlden in a Brabham BT62.

The Mercedes-AMG, equipped with DRS and boasting more than 650 horsepower, rolled out in an on-track demonstration session before Qualifying.

The 1:56.6054 was some four seconds quicker than the official GT3 record, set by Maro Engel in last year’s Pirelli Shootout.

Gounon’s lap came prior to a near-miss across the top of the Mountain, with the Andorran-based Frenchman scraping the wall at Reid Park.


The fast lap featured some remarkable top speeds, with Gounon hitting 270km/h on Mountain Straight, 200km/h into the Cutting, 240km/h into McPhillamy, and 302km/h into The Chase.

The effort came as part of Mercedes-AMG’s celebration of its 130th anniversary in motorsport.

The 29-year-old, who won the 2022 and 2023 races for SunEnergy1 Racing and Mercedes-AMG, is set to start fourth in Sunday’s race.

Team WRT BMW star Sheldon van der Linde scored pole in the Pirelli Shootout, with the 24-year-old claiming his first Allan Simonsen Pole Award.

Sunday’s Repco Bathurst 12 Hour will commence at 5:45am AEDT.

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