It seems like the motorsport season just ended a few weeks ago, and we're already diving into the deep end of the pool with an incredible International GT3 round in Australia with the 12 Hours of Bathurst in a couple weeks time. As the entry list started to come out, it became quite clear that Porsche is 100% dedicated to the effort, bringing in the big guns to try to secure another Bathurst title for the brand. There are a total of five quasi-factory-supported GT3 R examples running up and down the hill, with three entered in the A-Pro class, and two additional entered in the A-Pro-Am category. Check out this list!
Porsche GT3 R Pro Class #1 - Earl Bamber Motorsport: Earl Bamber / Laurens Vanthoor / Craig Lowndes
The reigning Bathurst 12 winners are back for another go-round. This year EBM has updated its entry list with a man who knows the Mount Panorama circuit quite well, Craig Lowndes. Lowndes is an incredible pilot in the Australian Supercars series, and has won here before. Teamed with Porsche aces Earl Bamber and Laurens Vanthoor (together the pair are known as #Bamthor) this is going to be a car that will seriously contend for the overall. If they can keep their nose clean.
Porsche GT3 R Pro Class #911 - Absolute Racing: Matt Campbell / Mathieu Jaminet / Patrick Pilet
The Absolute Racing team has found success with Porsche, as the team ran up onto the podium at the 10 hours of Suzuka last season. With this group of drivers it should absolute-ly be dicing toward the front.
Porsche GT3 R Pro Class #912 - Absolute Racing: Dirk Werner / Thomas Preining / Matteo Cairoli
And if the first Absolute car can't get the job, they have another bullet in the chamber ready to tear toward the race victory. Another all-Porsche pro lineup gives me an indication of how serious Porsche is taking this race. It has grown to become one of the best in the world to watch in recent years.
Porsche GT3 R Pro-Am Class #4 - Grove Racing: Stephen Grove / Brenton Grove / Ben Barker
Grove Racing has won the Class B trophy at Bathurst four different times, and this year the team have stepped up to the Pro-Am GT3 category with support from Herberth Motorsport to take a shot at the overall win. With the best equipment and a trio of drivers who definitely know this track well, I wouldn't count them out.
Porsche GT3 R Pro-Am Class #12 - NED Racing Team: David Calvert-Jones / Romain Dumas / Jaxon Evans
The Earl Bamber Motorsports team has a second entry for the Bathurst race this year with naming rights going to Australian whiskey company NED. Calvert-Jones is no slouch in a Porsche at the circuit. Romain Dumas is an endurance and sprint racing champion, and should serve quite well in this GT3 R. Jaxon Evans is a rising star in the world of sports cars, and has proven himself quite well at this race in the past. Keep an eye on this one, it's in with a shot.
I'm seriously looking forward to the Bathurst 12. Porsche will be going head-to-head with entries from Audi, Bentley, Nissan, Ferrari, Honda, BMW, McLaren, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, and Mercedes AMG. The driver lineup reads like a who's who of international tin-top GT drivers. Get ready, get set, GO!