Since the Rolex 24 in Daytona over and the 12 Hours of Sebring over a month away, international endurance racing fans need not despair as there’s another event that’s gaining international acclaim. It’s the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour Race at the Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit in Bathurst, Australia on February 8-10, 2013. With a top altitude over 2,800 feet above sea level, racers from all across the country and abroad flock to this, the premier motorsports event in all of Down Under.
This is a multi-class GT competition with five for GT as follows: GT3 Outright (European Track Spec), GT3, GT4, Production (High Performance), Performance and up to three types of invitational. As we’ve seen in other endurance races, the battle for supremacy in each of the classes is intense but everything gets to another level when the racing involves other classes. For example, two hot hatches like the Holden Astra HSV VXR and a BMW 130i tearing around the 3.86 mile course, had both better make way for a Lamborghini Gallardo LP560 that’s chasing a Ferrari 458. There will be grudge matches all over the road course, which is actually a public road that’s been closed off for the race (obviously). Oh, and some people actually live there. Could you imagine having a house along Road Atlanta or Lime Rock Park?
The real kicker that the fifty cars on the current entry list will have to contend with is the change in elevation. Some of those inclines/declines are pretty sharp. They’ll have to use all their skill to not only avoid disaster, but the other drivers as well along those eleven turns. It’s jaw-dropping to see onboard video of the racing along The Dipper and Forrest’s Elbow. There’s so little room on Mount Panorama’s descent that bike races are no longer allowed. The official website says, “If a rider were to come off at speed in these tight corners with close barricades, their chances of survival are slim.” Despite the danger and loss of life, this will be the eleventh Bathurst 12 Hour race. If you’d like to watch, it will be streamed live on http://www.bathurst12hour.com.au/. In addition, there will be updates and exclusive content on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #B12hr.