The race proper is still almost two months off, but the organisers of the 2018 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour endurance race have announce a provisional entry list that exceeds the previous list of 55, set in 2016, buy five cars, with 60 entrants already declared and three days remaining for other entries to sign up.
In the outright classes, 31 GT3 cars from Audi through Porsche, more than a few of them being factory-supported cars.
Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and Mercedes marks are also being entered.
Nissan is conspicuously absent for 2018, as is reigning champions Maranello Motorsport. Maranello won for the second time last year with a Ferrari 458 driven by Supercars star Jamie Whincup.
With Maranello choosing not to enter, Whincup is left with nothing but a rubber heel. “Fingers crossed,” Whincup told FOX Sports News 500 earlier this month. I’m just trying to do a deal at the moment. I’m finding it quite difficult, but I’d love to do the 12-hour (again).”
Audi intends to have ten A8s in the running, looking to supply the first win at Bathurst since 2012.
The winners of the Bathurst 12 Hour receive the Australian Tourist Trophy.
Of the current list of cars is still growing, much remains to be codified before the races. Audi is looking for drivers. They have only three of their spots filled, although they may simply just be waiting to announce the others until closer to the race.
Endurance racing of this type and the Le Mans 24 Hour are interesting in that there are different classes of cars, each with different speed and handling capabilities, on the course at the same time. The winner in each class is determined by which goes the most laps in the allotted time period.
Bathurst will feature Class A, Class B and Invitational vehicles.