Pro class dropped from Bathurst 12 Hour

The Pro class has been dropped from the 2022 Bathurst 12 Hour, with Pro-Am now the top class.

Pro class dropped from Bathurst 12 Hour
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Crews will need at least FIA bronze ranked driver in their line-up for this year's running of the round-the-clock enduro on May 13-15.

Supercars and SRO have made the change due to ongoing issues with both freight and borders, which have deterred some overseas competitors from making the trip down under.

The event will, however, still be the opening round of the 2022 Intercontinental GT Challenge.

“Barring situations outside of our control I was determined that Bathurst would return to the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli calendar in 2022, and this new class structure ensures it can do just that without diminishing the championship or event," said SRO boss Stephane Ratel.

“Factory teams and drivers usually make the headlines but the fact is amateurs and the Pro-Am class are the bedrock of global GT racing.

"There are also few, if any, races of Bathurst’s international stature where Pro-Am crews are the stars of the show. But that won’t be the case in May when some of the world’s best amateurs have a chance to win one of motorsport’s great endurance events.

"It feels like a genuine throwback to previous 12 Hours and GT racing generally of old."

Then change, which will put the focus back on local crews, was welcomed by GT World Challenge Australia category manager Ken Collier.

“It makes all the sense in the world that Australia’s biggest GT race is part of the GT World Challenge Australia Endurance Championship and we’ve been pleased to work with our partners at SRO and the Bathurst 12 Hour team to make it happen this year," he said.

“It works for our competitors who will enjoy a hallmark event on the calendar and one of the most iconic GT races in the world, and it works for the Bathurst 12 Hour to work with GT World Challenge Australia to support and grow the sport here.

“We share a mutual partner in SRO who shares the passion for growing GT3 racing in this part of the world that we all do, and this is a move that will support that – not just this year but moving forward.

“We are looking forward to another Bathurst classic this May that will also serve as an exciting kick-off to the 2022 GT World Challenge Australia Endurance Championship.”

Triple Eight is the early favourite for the 12 Hour, having locked in a formidable line-up of its two Supercars stars Shane van Gisbergen and Broc Feeney and regular GT driver Prince Jefri Ibrahim for its Mercedes.

As well as the class change, Supercars and SRO has also confirmed that the race will return to its traditional early February date next year.

This year's event was moved to May due to an Omicron outbreak that was battering Australia's east coast earlier this year.

The date for the 2023 event will be February 3-5.

“I’m also happy to see the race returning to its traditional early February date in 2023," added Ratel.

"Our only other option this year would have been to cancel the event, which neither SRO nor Supercars were willing to do.

"Equally, staging it in May isn’t compatible with European programmes.

"We’ve found a smart solution for this year but are also looking forward to seeing Bathurst fully living up to its status as Australia’s International Enduro next season.”

2022 Bathurst 12 Hour class structure

  • Class A: GT3 Pro-Am
    If 3 drivers, 2x are Platinum, Gold or Silver and 1x Bronze If 4 drivers, 2x are Platinum, Gold or Silver and 2x Bronze
  • Class A: GT3 Am
    Maximum of 1x Silver driver, the remaining drivers are Bronze
  • Class B GT3 Trophy Pro-Am
    Maximum of 1x Silver driver, the remaining drivers are Bronze
  • Class B – GT3 Trophy AM All Bronze
  • Class C: Porsche GT3 Cup Car
  • Class D: GT4
  • Class I: Invitational Class Cars, ‘GTC’ cars from one-make categories including Ferrari Challenge, Lamborghini Supercup and Audi R8 Cup.
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