MORE than 50 entries have already been received by Bathurst 12 Hour organisers with a boost in interest in the growing GT4 category adding to what is shaping as a remarkable collection of GT3 vehicles.
Sixteen different manufacturers are presently represented on the entry list and more than 30 GT3 cars will battle at the pointy-end of the grid. Entries have been received from Australia, the US, Europe and Asia.
“The entry list is always reasonably fluid at this stage of the year and will undoubtedly change before the end of the year as people finalise their plans, but we are obviously very pleased with the reaction so far,” Event Director John Casey said.
“The recent announcements from manufacturers and private teams entering the race shows how strong the appeal of this race has become. Manufacturers like Ferrari, Nissan and BMW see it as a great platform to showcase their brand while private teams like Hobson Motorsport know they can compete for outright or a class victory in competitive machinery.
“We are also extremely pleased to see GT4 starting to gain momentum in Australia with six cars already entered in the class. There has been several others talking to us about running so that category should be very strong.
“The mix of machinery is already very exciting and should be even better by the time entries close this December.”
The two-pronged BMW attack is especially exciting as it will mark the first time in two decades that a factory-supported BMW team has raced at Bathurst.
According to BMW Team SRM owner and lead driver Steve Richards, to be bringing BMW back to Australia’s most famous race track is a great honour.
“Bathurst is a special place and it’s an incredibly exciting time for BMW Team SRM to be entering the Bathurst 12 hour event, and to be a part of bringing BMW Australia back to Bathurst with the BMW M6 GT3,” said Richards.
“We’re hoping to see a lot of BMW Motorsport fans and supporters at Mount Panorama next February, to share in the brand’s return to Bathurst.”
Driver line-ups across the two cars will be finalised and announced closer to the event.
The 2017 Bathurst 12 Hour coincides with the 20th anniversary of BMW’s greatest triumph at Mount Panorama, Geoff and David Brabham winning the 1997 Bathurst 1000 in a BMW Motorsport Australia 320i.