Bathurst 12H: SunEnergy1 Mercedes team wins back-to-back crowns

The SunEnergy1 Mercedes team, headed by Mount Panorama resident Kenny Habul, has won the 2023 LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour race, making it back-to-back crowns for the hometown favorites.

Australian Habul, Frenchman Jules Gounon and German Lucas Stolz claimed the win after 12 Hours of grueling racing at Australia’s spiritual home of motorsport, Mount Panorama.

The 2023 race was filled with drama until the very end, with Mercedes squad GruppeM Racing holding a 30-second lead until a faulty modem caused data logging issues in Car #999.

The team changed the modem during their final pit stop, but that stopped allowed SunEnergy1 to take advantage and race away, only to hold on and win after a late surge from rivals.

Jules Gounon, driving for SunEnergy1, inherited the lead after GruppeM’s Maro Engel was forced to serve a drive-through penalty. Gounon held off pressure from Matt Campbell, driving the #912 Porsche, to win the race by 0.9267s after 323 laps covering more than 2000 km.

Luca Stolz and Kenny Habul also secured their second straight win at Mount Panorama, while Gounon secured his third consecutive win after being part of the Bentley crew in 2020. Campbell, Mathieu Jaminet, and Thomas Preining took second place, and Engel took third.

Team WRT finished in fourth and sixth place with Moto GP great Valentino Rossi playing a critical role in his teams 6th placing on his impressive debut behind the wheel at Mount Panorama.

Triple Eight Race Engineering’s team headed by Supercars Champion Shane van Gisbergen, finished in fifth place after serving a drive-through penalty.

Melbourne Performance Center won the Pro-Am class with Chaz Mostert finishing seventh, and Craft-Bamboo Racing slipped to eighth after Daniel Juncadella crashed late in the race.

The top 10 was rounded out by MPC Audi, Triple Eight Mercedes-AMG, and MPC also won the Silver class.

Record Attendance

Organizers of the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour have announced a record attendance for the event.

This year’s three-day event boasted an attendance of 53,446 – higher than the previous record of 49,495 set in 2019, which was a four-day event.

2023 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12HR, Mount Panorama, Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia. 4 Feb, 2023.

“We would like to thank the event’s major stakeholders SRO, DNSW, Liqui Moly, and Bathurst Regional Council, who came together to make this year’s event the biggest and best yet.

“I would also like to thank our volunteers, dedicated officials, and the hospitable people of Bathurst for creating an unforgettable experience for fans.

“From the track to the skies, we made some key additions to the entertainment package in 2023, which we want to build on next year and in the future.

“Fans saw a reinvigorated Harris Park precinct and we would like to thank the manufacturers for engaging with fans in ways like never before.

“Not only was the event a thrilling experience for fans, but it also raised significant funds for Ronald McDonald House, the event’s official Charity partner.

“The main attraction was of course the racing of 26 of the world’s best endurance GT entries representing seven of the world’s biggest manufacturers.

“To be here and see that lap record get shattered during qualifying on Saturday was a special moment,” added Rudzis.

“The racing on Sunday was world-class and the pictures of sunrise as a backdrop to the Mount Panorama circuit are part of the unique moments that make this circuit one of the most iconic in the world.”

Race Results – 12 Hours

Pos Num Team/Sponsor Driver(s) Car Cls Laps Behind
1 75 Sun Energy 1 K.Habul/J.Gounon/L.Stolz Mercedes-AMG GT3 PRO 323 0.000s
2 912 Manthey EMA M.Campbell/M.Jaminet/T.Preining Porsche GT3 R Spec 2 PRO 323 0.9267
3 999 Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM M.Engel/M.Grenier/R.Marciello Mercedes-AMG GT3 PRO 323 1.4177
4 32 Team WRT S.van der Linde/D.Vanthoor/C.Weerts BMW M4GT3 PRO 323 44.7457
5 888 Supercheap Auto Racing S.van Gisbergen/B.Feeney/M.Goetz Mercedes-AMG GT3 PRO 322 1 Laps
6 46 Team WRT A.Farfus/M.Martin/V.Rossi BMW M4GT3 PRO 322 1 Laps
7 65 Sportsbet Team MPC C.Mostert/F.Ross/L.Talbot Audi R8 LMS Evo 2 PAM 321 2 Laps
8 77 Mercedes-AMG Craft-Bamboo D.Juncadella/P.Ellis/N.Catsburg Mercedes-AMG GT3 PRO 321 2 Laps
9 777 The Bend Motorsport Park / MPC C.Mies/R.Feller/Y.Shahin Audi R8 LMS Evo 2 PAM 320 3 Laps
10 99 Boost Mobile Racing J.Whincup/R.Stanaway/J.Ibrahim Mercedes-AMG GT3 PAM 319 4 Laps
11 24 Tony Bates Racing /Makita T.Bates/J.Love/D.Reynolds Mercedes-AMG GT3 PAM 316 7 Laps
12 10 MYLAND Team IMS D.Gaunt/A.Fawcet/D.O’Keeffe Audi R8 LMS Evo 2 SIL 316 7 Laps
13 9 Hallmarc Team MPC L.Holdsworth/D.Fiore/M.Cini Audi R8 LMS Evo 2 PAM 316 7 Laps
14 101 Harrolds Volante Rosso M’Sport R.Poulakis/J.Hunt/J.Hui/K.Tse Mercedes-AMG GT3 SIL 310 13 Laps
15 50 MMotorsport /Vantage Racing T.Harrison/J.Ojeda/G.Wood/D.Crampton Audi R8 LMS Evo 2 SIL 309 14 Laps
16 47 Supabarn Team MPC D.Russell/J.Webb/T.Koundouris/J.Koundouris Audi R8 LMS Evo 2 SIL 301 22 Laps
17 111 111Racing/MRA Motorsport G.Taunton/D.Currie/G.Donaldson MARC I Mazda INV 283 40 Laps
NC 55 FUCHS Lubricants Racing B.Schumacher/J.Golding/F.Vervisch Audi R8 LMS Evo 2 PAM 243  DNF
NC 19 Nineteen Corporation C.Pancione/F.Schiller/M.Griffith Mercedes Benz INV 210 DNF
NC 222 Scott Taylor Motorsport C.Lowndes/A.Davison/G.Emery/S.Taylor Mercedes-AMG GT3 PAM 177 DNF
NC 44 Valmont Racing M.Zalloua/D.Padayachee/S.Pires/A.Cameron Mercedes-AMG GT3 SIL 89 DNF
NC 6 Wall Racing T.D’Alberto/D.Wall/G.Denyer/A.Deitz Lamborghini Huracan SIL 70 DNF
NC 4 Grove Racing A.De Pasquale/B.Grove/S.Grove Porsche 911 GT3R PAM 56 DNF
NC 74 The Bend Motorsport Park / MPC C.Haase/P.Niederhauser/M.Drudi Audi R8 LMS Evo 2 PRO 13 DNF