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 powers unrestricted Mercedes around the Mountain

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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