THERE are events within the sport of endurance racing that are spoken about with reverence and carry a certain mystique, events which hold legendary, iconic status.
Think the Le Mans 24 Hour, the 24 Hour of Nurburgring and the 24 Hours of Spa.
But since the Bathurst 12 Hour allowed GT3 specification cars to enter for the first time in 2011, it too has now earned a reputation.
It is a race some of the world's leading factory drivers and teams want to contest at a track so many of them have on their bucket list - the 6.213 kilometre Mount Panorama.
Bathurst 12 Hour media manager Richard Craill - a man who is an undisputed motor sport nuffie - feels that the enduro elicits the same sort of passion as those other events.
"The drivers are the ones who often propagate the mystique about these races because they're the ones that get to experience it in the thick of the action," Craill said.
"You talk to a guy who has raced at Le Mans and they all go 'Oh my goodness, driving down the Mulsanne Straight at three o'clock in the morning at 350 kays an hour is one of the most profound things I've ever done.'
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"Then when you talk to someone who has diced with the craziness of the Nurburgring 24 Hour or raced on the banks of Daytona in the Daytona 24, it's the same sort of thing.
"But all the drivers now say that same sort of stuff about Mount Panorama and the 12 Hour. That first hour in the dark with the sun rising is incredible, then how it always build to an epic finish every year.
"They talk about it in the same terms as they do these iconic races, so I suppose you kinda of can talk about it, I suppose it does stack up with those major races in terms of its status."
In a sign of its prestige, the Bathurst 12 Hour is now part of the five-round global Intercontinental GT, a series which also includes Spa, Suzuka, Indianapolis and Kyalami.
Another huge endorsement is the grid it attracts, this year's January 31 to February 2 has 11 different GT3 brands.