Bathurst 12 Hour Race: Rain or Shine – Grello ruled Mount Panorma Circuit

Porsche wins the Bathurst 12 Hour race in Australia for the second time

The Mount Panorama Circuit, situated in southeastern Australia, is a track that resembles a roller coaster more than a traditional Grand Prix course. Much like the Nürburgring Nordschleife, this partially public road at the foot of Mount Panorama features numerous inclines and declines.

Adding to the challenge, the track offers scant refuge in the form of run-off areas, making clean and safe overtaking maneuvers a precious commodity in specific sectors. This inherent lack of forgiveness was on full display during the Intercontinental GT Challenge’s opening act, where the safety car became a recurring visitor, underscoring the circuit’s unforgiving nature.

Our KW motorsport customers were also in the thick of the action, with their BMW M4 GT3 and Porsche 911 GT3 R cars equipped with homologated KW V6 Racing dampers, making them among the favorites for overall victory.

Sheldon van der Linde from BMW M Team WRT set a blistering qualifying time of 2:02.2142 minutes in the BMW M4 GT3 (#32) and secured pole position with a 2:01.9810 minutes in the later top-ten shootout.

Neither weather capers nor penalties could stop Manthey-EMA from their first overall victory in Bathurst

Matt Campbell rocketed his yellow-green Manthey-EMA Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) onto the second row of the grid, laying down a scorching 2:02.4259 minute lap time to qualify in P4 with car #912.

This year’s Bathurst 12 Hour race in Australia was a real mixed bag

But as any endurance racing fan knows, it’s not over until it’s over, and this year in Australia things turned out completely differently than expected. While the first half of the race was held in cool summer temperatures, rain alternated with dry periods in the course of the race, and so there was constant switching between slicks and rain tires.

The BMW M Team WRT was also one of the favorites at the start of the Intercontinental GT Challenge

From the start, our BMW and Porsche motorsport customers consistently held positions in the top 5 of the race, successfully defending their positions in the early stages. Thirteen safety car deployments and numerous yellow phases repeatedly bunched the entire field together.

In Australia, the Bathurst 12 Hour race traditionally kicks off just before sunrise, at 5:45 AM local time

Hearts skipped a beat for BMW M fans as the leading #32 BMW M4 GT3, piloted by Sheldon van der Linde, Dries Vanthoor, and Charles Weerts, crashed during an overtaking attempt.

At the foot of Mount Panorama in Australia, the racetrack winds its way along for just over 6.2 kilometers

A lengthy yellow flag period ensued, requiring the safety car’s intervention to recover the disabled BMW. Thankfully, driver Charles Weert emerged unscathed from the incident.

An “old” Porsche 911 GT3 R (991) also competed in the 2024 Bathurst 12 Hour race

The #911 “The Bend Manthey EMA” Porsche 911 GT3 R (991) enjoyed better fortune. Though pushed off the track, the Porsche battled back to rejoin the race, avoiding an early retirement.

Grello ruled Mount Panorama Circuit, rain or shine

The closing act delivered another dose of drama as Grello, piloting the #912 Manthey EMA Porsche 911 GT3 R, faced the double whammy of two penalties and repeated yellow flags that kept him in check throughout the race.

Grello was unstoppable in Australia

Neither Matt Campbell nor his teammates, Laurens Vanthoor and Ayhancan Güven, were fazed by setbacks at Mount Panorama Circuit. Time and again, they stormed back to the front, fiercely defending their lead against every attack.

Grello wins the Bathurst 12 Hour for the first time

Grello (#912) stormed across the finish line after 275 heart-pounding laps, securing victory by a narrow 2.6-second margin. This marks a maiden triumph for Manthey EMA in Australia and Porsche’s second overall win at the legendary Bathurst 12 Hour. Interestingly, 2019 saw Porsche factory driver Matt Campbell take his “home race” glory with Earl Bamber Motorsport’s 911.

At the premiere in Australia, the Phantom Global Racing team drove into the top 5

The Porsche 911 GT3 R (992, #13) from Phantom Global Racing, piloted by drivers Bastian Buus, Jaxon Evans, and Joel Eriksson, crossed the finish line in fourth place.

The BMW M4 GT3, driven by Valentino Rossi, Maxime Martin, and Raffaele Marciello, finished in fifth place in the end

A tantalizing podium finish dangled within reach for Valentino “Dottore” Rossi, Maxime Martin, and Raffaele Marciello in their #46 BMW M4 GT3. Even in the final throes of the race, they mounted a charge for second place, battling fiercely in the last ten minutes before ultimately claiming a well-deserved fifth.

The second Manthey Porsche becomes the class winner in the “A-Pro-AM category”.

Ninth place went to the second Manthey Porsche, the 991 with the starting number 911, which with this result also won the PRO-Am class with its drivers Harry King, Alessio Picariello, and Yasser Shahin (“A-Pro-AM category”).

Looking at the Intercontinental GT Challenge standings:

Laurens Vanthoor, Ayhancan Guven, and Matt Campbell are the frontrunners in the driver standings of the Intercontinental GT Challenge

In the manufacturer standings, Porsche leads with 40 points, Mercedes-AMG has 25 points, and BMW has 12 points. Laurens Vanthoor, Ayhancan Guven, and Matt Campbell are tied for the lead in the driver standings with 25 points each.

Double victory for Manthey: Grello #912 celebrated the overall victory and PRO class win, while “The Bend Manthey EMA” #911 crossed the finish line in ninth place and secured the A-Pro-AM class victory

Photos BMW M Motorsport, Manthey EMA, and Scuderia Autoart (Race Project)

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