Racing talent from across the globe will descend on Mount Panorama, Bathurst for the 2015 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour next week.
The class A (GT3 outright) entry list comprises 29 cars and features 87 drivers – some of them amongst the most successful from across the world of motorsport.
International drivers visiting in 2015 hail from 15 different nations, including Great Britain, Ireland, Scotland, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, United States of America, Finland, Japan, Switzerland, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Belgium.
Between them, they account for 246 Formula 1 Grands Prix starts, 3 outright and 17 LeMans 24 hour class victories, 10 American LeMans Series drivers titles (outright and class) and 6 Sebring 12 Hour class or outright victories.
The entry list also features drivers who can claim race or championship victories in the Spa 24 Hour, FIA GT World Championship, Blancpain Endurance Series, Nurburgring 24 Hour, World Endurance Championship, European LeMans Championship and the British Touring Car Championship – plus additional one-make series successes including the prestigious Porsche Supercup.
Meanwhile, some of the very best from the local talent pool are also represented in the outright class.
Leading the local line-up will be John Bowe, the most experienced driver in the field and part of the winning combination from 2014.
The Tasmanian icon has started 10 Bathurst 12 Hour races, more than any other driver – only missing the 1991 and 1993 races.
Now aboard a Bentley GT3, Bowe has not only won the 12 Hour twice but also the Bathurst 1000 on two occasions (from 23 starts), to go with his 1995 Australian Touring Car Championship and two titles each in the Australian Drivers Championship and Touring Car Masters Series, respectively.
Queensland-based New Zealander Craig Baird brings his 12 one-make Porsche championships to the M Motorsport Lamborghini and will team up with one of Australia’s very best: three-time Bathurst 1000 Champion Steven Richards.
Between them, Baird and Richards have combined to win the last four Porsche Carrera Cup titles, Richards having won last year.
Two-time V8 Development Series Champion Steve Owen and Porsche ace David Russell both bring plenty of Bathurst experience to Roger Lago’s JBS Racing Lamborghini, the pair both having extensive 12 Hour and Bathurst 1000 co-driving experience on their respective CVs.
Australian GT racing is also well represented, with reigning champion Richard Muscat joined on the grid by former title winners Greg Crick (2006), Mark Eddy (2008 & 2011) and Klark Quinn (2012 & 2013).
Two of the fastest ever drivers to circulate the 6.213km circuit are also entered in the No. 63 Erebus Motorsport Mercedes-Benz.
Current outright lap record holder Simon Hodge will be joined by former record holder Nathan Morcom in the thundering SLS, partnered with star American teenager, Austin Cindric.
The winner of the very first Bathurst 12 Hour race, Peter Fitzgerald, makes his return to the Mountain this year and is one of eight former winners attempting to return to the top step of the famous Bathurst Podium.
Fitzgerald, Craig Baird, Mika Salo and Peter Edwards have each won the race once, while John Bowe, Christoper Mies, Darryl O’Young and Rod Salmon will each be trying to be the first to three victories.
In addition to his 2010 and 2014 triumphs at Bathurst Bowe also won the 1995 12 Hour race, however it was held at Eastern Creek Raceway in Sydney.
The Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour 2015 is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.
Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour
Bentley confirms drivers for Bathurst challenge
Full start grid expected for Hankook 12H Italy-Mugello