SunEnergy1 and Mercedes-AMG go back-to-back in record-breaking Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour

SunEnergy1 and Mercedes-AMG go back-to-back in record-breaking Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour

05.02.2023: - Habul, Stolz and Gounon beat Manthey EMA and GruppeM in epic finish - Hui collects maximum Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli Independent Cup points - Race Result: LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour

- Habul, Stolz and Gounon beat Manthey EMA and GruppeM in epic finish

- Hui collects maximum Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli Independent Cup points

- Race Result: LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour


SunEnergy1 and Mercedes-AMG defended their LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 crown in epic fashion and made the perfect start to this year’s Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli campaign by beating Manthey EMA and GruppeM Racing to victory in Australia’s International Enduro.

Kenny Habul, Luca Stolz and Jules Gounon also belied their status as Pro class underdogs to lead home a top-three covered by just 1.5s at the end of a thrilling encounter around Mount Panorama where a record-breaking 53,000-strong crowd witnessed the fastest race in the event’s history.

It was also incredibly close thanks to the grandstand finish between Gounon, Matt Campbell and recovering Maro Engel who fought back from a drive-through penalty in the final hour after contact with Gounon at The Chase turned SunEnergy1’s Mercedes-AMG around.

Campbell, along with his fellow Porsche factory co-drivers Mathieu Jaminet and Thomas Preining, took the chequered flag just 0.9s behind Gounon after failing to work an opening over the final 20 minutes, while Engel – who shared GruppeM’s Mercedes-AMG with Raffaele Marciello and Mikael Grenier – made up 14 seconds in his pursuit of the leaders.

The result saw Habul and Stolz go back-to-back at the Mountain, while Gounon became the first driver to win three 12 Hours – victories achieved across consecutive events. And Mercedes-AMG also equalled Audi Sport’s record after visiting victory lane for a third time.

Team WRT’s #32 BMW completed a top-four solely comprising IGTC-nominated entries.


The strength of its driver crew relative to the other Pro entries made this a remarkable victory for SunEnergy1. However, the team – which received support from Akkodis ASP – also benefitted from a stroke of good fortune even before Engel’s drive-through left long-time leaders and pole winners GruppeM with a metaphorical as well as literal mountain to climb

Engel was the class of the field in the opening stint en route to a five-second lead over Supercheap Auto Racing’s Maxi Goetz at the first round of pitstops. The car dropped back to fifth during the first caution period but had sufficient pace to re-emerge as the fastest front-runner despite an alternative strategy helping SunEnergy1 to spend large parts of the first six hours in the lead.

That was partly thanks to Habul completing his drive-time during the first quarter of the race, which then allowed Gounon and Stolz to keep the pressure on GruppeM, as well as Manthey EMA’s Porsche which was seldom outside of the top-three all day.

Neither of the BMWs spent time in the lead on merit but they were still very much in contention until the #46 M4 shared by Valentino Rossi, Maxime Martin and Augusto Farfus was forced into the garage to repair a brake light with two-and-a-half hours left to run.

Ahead of them, the timing of Safety Cars – of which there were only a joint-record five across the 12 hours – left SunEnergy1 on a different strategy to, and swapping the lead with, GruppeM, which looked set to end the race out front. But that all changed in the penultimate hour when a datalogger technical issue necessitated repairs at the final pitstop.

The time lost and SunEnergy1 opting to double stint Gounon’s tyres gained #75 track position, albeit with less grip and a fired up Engel right behind.

The Mercedes-AMG colleagues circulated together for the first 15 minutes of their final stint until Engel spied an opening at The Chase and went for the inside just as Gounon was taking his line. The inevitable contact sent SunEnergy1 spinning across the grass as Engel powered into the lead.

The subsequent drive-through dropped him to third behind Campbell whose 12-second deficit to Gounon was halved as a result of the contact. The incident, as well as the Porsche’s fresher tyres, then helped the 2020 winner home in on the Mercedes-AMG, while Engel’s pace also saw him slash the deficit over the final 30 minutes.

But Gounon hung on to take the chequered flag and his record-breaking third Bathurst victory.


Dries Vanthoor, Sheldon van der Linde and Charles Weerts never quite had the pace to challenge but still took the chequered flag a solid fourth on the BMW M4 GT3’s Mount Panorama debut. The sister car looked set to complete the top-five before making its unscheduled repairs, which elevated Supercheap Auto’s Triple Eight-run Mercedes-AMG.

With Habul’s Pro entry ineligible to score IGTC Independent Cup points at Bathurst, the class victory went to Jonathan Hui and his Harrolds Volante Rosso Motorsport co-drivers Kevin Tse, Ross Poulakis and Josh Hunt who finished 14th overall.

Hui, as well as Habul and Stephen Grove, will battle for more Independent Cup points when the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli season continues later this month at the Kyalami 9 Hour (February 23-25).


February 3-5: LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour (Australia)
February 23-25: Kyalami 9 Hour (South Africa)
June 29 - July 2: CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa (Belgium)
October 5-7: Indianapolis 8 Hour Presented by AWS (USA)
December 8-10: Gulf 12 Hours (UAE)

Tom Hornsby, photos Kevin Pecks / SRO Motorsports Group


05.02.2023 / MaP

More News

Bathurst 12 Hour - Top Ten Shootout results
Bathurst 12 Hour Mount Panorama, AustraliaSaturday, February 4th 2023   Qualifying Q6 30 Mins 1 999 GruppeM Racing Maro Engel (DEU) Mercedes-AMG GT3 EVO PRO 6 6 2:00.8819R2 8 more >>
Engel makes history en route to Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour pole record
- GruppeM’s Mercedes-AMG simply unstoppable at Mount Panorama    GruppeM Racing and Mercedes-AMG’s Maro Engel clinched his second Allan Simonsen Pole Position Trophy by setting the fastest lap ever recorded at th more >>
Jordan Love geared up for the Bathurst 12 Hour
Intelligent Money further extends British GT Championship title sponsorship
- Investment provider remains on board through 2027- Enhanced ISA, SIPP and pension options for GT fans Intelligent Money will remain the British GT Championship’s title sponsor for another five years at least followi more >>
Mercedes AMG set for Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli title defence
-GruppeM Racing to contest all five rounds- Reigning drivers’ champion Juncadella amongst LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour entries  Mercedes-AMG is aiming to defend the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by more >>
Six factory drivers amongst Audi Sportís seven-car-strong Bathurst roster
Audi Sport has confirmed the driver line-ups for its seven LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour entries.Six of its European factory stars feature across three of those entries, including three in the Audi Sport Team MPC R8 LMS GT3 that will contend for the German man more >>
Audi Sport with strong local teams at the Bathurst 12 Hour
  Season highlight in Australian GT racing on challenging circuit        Six Audi Sport drivers take turns in three R8 LMS cars        Audi customers again aim for success in various classes   more >>
Lamborghini Squadra Corse announces partnership with Hankook
The tyre manufacturer will supply each of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo championships from 2023   Lamborghini Squadra Corse is pleased to announce that Hankook will become the official tyre supplier for all three continental on more >>
FIST - Team AAI confirms two-car full-season GT3 entry
- SRO’s Asian series now oversubscribed due to exceptional demand FIST – Team AAI will make its Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS comeback this year after confirming a two-car full-season programme. more >>
Jordan Love to make GT3 debut at Bathurst 12 Hour
Jordan Love will join David Reynolds and Tony Bates in a Mercedes-AMG GT3 at the 2023 Bathurst 12 Hour.Mercedes AMG driver Jordan Love will join Reynolds and Bates to form a Pro-Am entry in a Mercedes-AMG run by Volante Rosso Motorsport for the Intercontinental GT Challenge opener at the legendary Mount Panorama Circuit. more >>
JP Motorsport to start under Luxembourg flag in 2023
From the 2023 season, McLaren team JP Motorsport will compete under the Luxembourg flag.Vincent Abril Dennis LindJP Motorsport McLaren 720S GT3GT World Challenge Europe Sprint Cup Zandvoort(C) GT World Challenge Europe more >>
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia calendar 2023 at a glance
Lamborghini Super Trofeo AsiaRound 1: Sepang (Malaysia), 5-7 MayRound 2: The Bend (Australia), 9-11 JuneRound 3: Fuji (Japan), 14-16 JulyRound 4: Everland Speedway (Republic of Korea), 18-20 August more >>
Calendar 2023 at a glance - Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America
  Lamborghini Super Trofeo North AmericaRound 1: Laguna Seca (California), 12-14 MayRound 2: Watkins Glen (New York), 22-25 JuneRound 3: Road America/Elkhart Lake (Wisconsin), 4-6 August more >>
Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe calendar 2023 at a glance
Lamborghini Super Trofeo EuropeRound 1: Imola (Italy), 5-7 MayRound 2: Paul Ricard/Le Castellet (France), 2-4 JuneRound 3: Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium), 29 June-1 JulyRound 4: Nürburgring (Germany), 28-3 more >>
Lamborghini Super Trofeo: three series in four continents for 2023
Asian championship returns after three years as Europe marks historic first European Le Mans Series weekend   Lamborghini Squadra Corse has unveiled the finalised regional Super Trofeo championship calendars for the 2023 season. For Lamborghini’s more >>
NK Racing confirms full-season entry with Uchiyama, Kondo and all-new Porsche 911 GT3 R
Porsche Carrera Cup Japan champions NK Racing are stepping up to Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS next season with the all-new 992-spec 911 GT3 R. Kiyoshi Uchiyama and Tsubasa Kondo are teaming up at all six rounds, starting at Chang Int more >>
Date set for all-GT3 Gulf 12 Hours in 2023, additional race announced- entry package
•       Next date confirmed: 10 December 2023•       Gulf 12 Hours reserved for GT3 cars only •       Additional six-hour night race for non-GT3 cars  more >>
Lamborghini announces Young Driver and GT3 Junior Program 2022 winners
Lamborghini Youngster programs 2022Leonardo Pulcini promoted to Factory Driver after winning GT3 Junior shootout as Danny Formal, Yuki Nemoto and Maximilian Paul form Lamborghini Young Professional Driver category more >>
Calendar 2023 at a glance Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS
2023 CALENDARMay 13/14 // Chang International Circuit // 2x 1hr races June 17/18 // Fuji International Speedway // 2x 1hr races (Fanatec Japan Cup)July 15/16 // Suzuka International Circuit // 2x 1hr races (Fanatec Japan Cup) more >>
2023: Dístation returns for renewed Fanatec Japan Cup assault
- Hoshino and Fujii confirmed aboard Aston Martin D’station Racing is returning to Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia Powered by AWS next season when Satoshi Hoshino and Tomonobu Fujii reprise their race-winning partnership.The team’ more >>
Al-Zubair, Schiller and Stolz finish fourth with Al-Manar Racing Team at Gulf 12 Hours
Gulf 12 Hours Yas Marina circuit, Abu Dhabi, Sunday, December 11th, 2022 Oman’s Al-Faisal Al-Zubair and German team-mates, Luca Stolz and Fabian Schiller, finished fourt more >>
Ferrari wins Gulf 12 Hours, Juncadella crowned IGCT Champion, results and standings
- Fuoco/Calado/Pier Guidi lead home AF Corse - Francorchamps Motors one-two- Mercedes-AMG’s Juncadella endures nervy afternoon following early retirement- Audi Sport Team Sainteloc completes final IGTC podium of the year more >>
Class win and top 5 result for SPS Automotive Performance at the Gulf 12 Hours
Successful season end for SPS automotive performance. In the Gulf 12 Hours at Yas Marina Circuit, Kenny Habul (AUS), Martin Konrad (AUT) and Philip Ellis (SUI) in the #75 Mercedes-AMG GT3 claimed class victory in the Pro-Am category and 5th place overall. more >>
Mercedes-AMG concludes outstanding IGTC season with three championship titles
  •    Dani Juncadella is the new Intercontinental GT Challenge champion•    Kenny Habul and Martin Konrad celebrate Pro-Am drivers’ title•    Two ei Mercedes-AMG GT3s in the more >>
Tresor Competition finishes the Gulf 12 Hours in the top ten
A solid performance marked Tresor Competition’s participation in the Gulf 12 Hours, the closing round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge that took place at the circuit of Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi this weekend.The Italian team fielded two Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo. more >>
Audi in third place at the Gulf 12 Hours
   - Audi Sport Team Saintéloc best R8 LMS squad at the Gulf 12 Hours        -Tresor Attempto Racing private drivers win Silver Cup  Although all four Audi R8 LMS cars posted a combined more >>
IGTC Gulf 12 Hours final classification - AF Corse Ferrari #71 victory
IGTC Gulf 12 HoursYas Marina Circuit Abu DhabiSunday, December 11th 20221  71    AF Corse - Francorchamps Motors    Antonio Fuoco    GT3 P 1 IGTC -- 335 laps --    1:5 more >>
Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM locks out Gulf 12 Hours front row - qualifying results
- Engel/Auer/Goetz start on pole despite Gounon’s fastest time- 0.023s cover the top two on average-  Audi Sport Team Tresor pips AF Corse to thirdQualiying Results more >>
Auer keeps GruppeM on top in Gulf 12 Hours practice 2
IGTC Gulf 12 HoursYas Marina CircuitSaturday, December 10th 2022Gulf 12 Hours Free Practice 2 result here more >>
GruppeM bounces back to set IGTC Gulf 12 Hours FP1 pace
Maro Engel topped the first official session of this year’s Gulf 12 Hours after his GruppeM squad worked through the night to repair their damaged Mercedes-AMG.Lucas Auer’s testing accident restricted the #98 entry’s Friday running and re more >>
IGTC finale gets underway with full day of Gulf 12 Hours testing at Yas Marina - results
This year’s Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli season finale began in earnest today with four Open Practice test sessions ahead of this weekend’s Gulf 12 Hours.Open Practice Results - 4 sessions HERE more >>
BMW announces 2023 Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli entry
- BMW M Team WRT spearheads new IGTC programme  BMW M Motorsport will contest 2023’s Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli campaign, which begins at the LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour on February 3-5.The manufacturer’ more >>
Championship and class wins in the GT World Challenge Australia
    Mark Griffith (AUS) is the new GT4 champion in the GT World Challenge Australia. Sharing the cockpit of the number 19 Team Daimler Trucks Brisbane Mercedes-AMG GT4 with Paul Morris (AUS), Griffith took a class win more >>
IGTC drivers title to be decided at Gulf 12 Hours, entry list, schedule and live coverage
- 16 IGTC nominations amongst event’s record-breaking GT3 entry- Juncadella, Gounon, Marciello and Stolz all retain mathematical title chance- Mercedes-AMG chasing more IGTC history- IGTC entry list more >>
Mercedes-AMG in Gulf 12h preview
Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by PirelliGulf 12 Hours Circuit Yas MarinaDecember 9-11, 2022Mercedes-AMG | 3x Pro, 1x Pro-AmManufacturers’ Championship: 1st (126 points) Dani Juncadella has more >>
Ferrari in IGCT Gulf 12 hours
Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by PirelliGulf 12 Hours Circuit Yas MarinaDecember 9-11, 2022Ferrari | 3x Pro, 1x AmManufacturers’ Championship: 2nd (55 points) Ferrari c more >>
Audi on the way to IGCT season finale in Abu Dhabi
Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by PirelliGulf 12 Hours Circuit Yas MarinaDecember 9-11, 2022Audi Sport | 2x Pro, 2x SilverManufacturers’ Championship: 4th (35 points) Things haven’t g more >>
Porsche preview on 12h Gulf at Yas Marina Circuit
Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by PirelliGulf 12 Hours Circuit Yas MarinaDecember 9-11, 2022Porsche | 3x Pro-Am, 1x AmManufacturers’ Championship: 5th (23 points) All four 911 GT3 Rs receive no more >>
Misano returns to the GT4 European Series schedule in calendar change
•    Second trip to Italy back on the cards after date shuffle•    GT4 European Series to be contested over six rounds and 12 races in 2023 The GT4 European Series has finalised its 2023 schedule, with M more >>


2001-2023 full copyright