By Barry Green | Photo Barry Green
In comparison with the Bathurst 1000 classic, it’s the race that has more than double the starters, goes nearly twice as long and boasts some of the most desirable marques in the world. Think McLaren, Porsche, Bentley, Ferrari, BMW, Mercedes-AMG, Audi and Lamborghini, GT3 examples of which can lap the iconic Mt Panorama track nearly three seconds quicker than our home-brewed Supercars.
Chances are, though, unless you are a true-blue enthusiast, you may not have even heard of it.
Welcome to the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, which will be fought out at Mt Panorama on Sunday February 4.
Now in its 16th running, the annual endurance event continues to grow in stature around the world despite its lack of exposure in the mainstream media.
This year, more Australian Supercar Championship luminaries than ever are among a star-studded international field that includes former Formula 1 drivers, Le Mans 24 Hour race winners and champions from other major series around the globe.
The local contingent includes Jamie Whincup, Shane van Gisbergen, Craig Lowndes, Scott McLaughlin, Lee Holdsworth, Chaz Mostert, Garth Tander and Cam Waters, along with a supporting cast of John Bowe, Craig Baird, Steve Owen, Dean Canto, David Russell, Warren Luff, Tony D’Alberto and Alex Davison.
Ex-F1 exponents include Timo Glock, Pedro Lamy and Ivan Capelli, who join Le Mans victors in Earl Bamber and Guy Smith and rising stars on the international stage such as Queenslander Matt Campbell, Christopher Mies, Laurents Vanthoor and Matthias Lauda, son of the legendary three-times world champion Niki Lauda, in the bumper 56-car field.
Like the Bathurst 500 and 1000 of old, the 12 Hour features more than just one class, this year catering for the premier GT3, GT4, Porsche Cup and Invitational classes.
In good news for motorsport buffs, the race will be televised live by Channel 7Mate in its entirety starting 4.30am DST Sunday, along with a one-hour coverage of the Pirelli Top 10 Shootout from 2.30pm DST on Saturday February 3.