SUNENERGY1 CLINCH MERCEDES-AMG's FIRST LIQUI MOLY BATHURST 12 HOUR VICTORY
Gounon, Habul and Konrad reign supreme at Mount Panorama
2022 LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour
Mercedes-AMG swept the LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour podium
at Mount Panorama earlier today after SunEnergy1's Luca Stolz, Jules Gounon, Kenny Habul
and Martin Konrad beat Craft-Bamboo and Triple Eight in the Intercontinental GT Challenge
Powered by Pirelli season opener Down Under.
Gounon took the chequered flag 8.7 seconds clear of Maro
Engel, who shared the runner-up entry with Daniel Juncadella and Kevin Tse, while Shane
van Gisbergen, Broc Feeney and Jefri Ibrahim completed the rostrum.
It was Mercedes-AMG’s second IGTC victory in as many events
after AKKA ASP triumphed at the Kyalami 9 Hour in February as well as the manufacturer’s
first at Mount Panorama since the SLS GT3 won in 2013. What’s more, no brand had
previously locked out the podium at Australia's International Enduro.
But there was disappointment for Audi Sport whose standout
factory-backed Team Valvoline entry driven by Kelvin van der Linde, Nathanael Berthon and
Brad Schumacher lost the lead in the ninth hour after serving a two-minute penalty. The
trio ultimately finished fourth, one lap adrift of SunEnergy1.
Behind, Lamborghini enjoyed its strongest-ever IGTC outing
at Bathurst thanks to Wall Racing's Tony D'Alberto, David Wall, Adrian Deitz and Grant
Denyer who went under the radar en route to fifth overall.
GOUNON GOES BACK-TO-BACK AT BATHURST DESPITE LATE PRESSURE FROM ENGEL
Gounon’s second win in as many starts at
Mount Panorama, albeit 830 days apart and with different manufacturers, was made possible
by Team Valvoline’s driver time miscalculation, Stolz’s immaculate contribution during his
five hours behind the wheel, and a proxy war with fellow factory ace Engel during the
final two stints.
Fog over the mountain necessitated a Safety Car start in
pitch darkness at 05:15 local time before racing began in earnest two laps later. The
opening stint was all about Pole Shootout rivals Chaz Mostert and Kelvin van der Linde who
matched each other lap for lap out front while pulling clear of a chasing pack headed by
Stolz, Markus Winkelhock (Audi Sport Team Valvoline) and Feeney.
But a flurry of further Safety Cars, as well as heavy rain,
were about to bring a sleeping giant back into play. An engine change had prevented
Craft-Bamboo's Mercedes-AMG from completing any laps on Saturday and left Engel starting
from the back row. The German was soon running 12th but, bottled up in traffic, unable to
make further progress. Cue the unusual strategy of serving compulsory pitstops during and
then immediately after the Safety Car periods to burn through the nine longer two-minute
stops before their rivals, which would then allow for faster driver changes later in the
Meanwhile, Team Valvoline also took an alternative approach
to #74's stints by prioritising the entry's Am driver, Schumacher, over Van der Linde and
Berthon. By completing his bulk of total drive time amongst the early Safety Car periods
Audi's Pros could make up the time over rival Ams under green flag conditions as the race
That strategy looked to have paid off when Van der Linde
took the lead on merit, albeit with one compulsory pitstop remaining, by passing Ibrahim
and Tse late in the eighth hour. Stolz, whose SunEnergy1 team ran a more conventional
strategy and had already completed their nine CPSs, followed suit a little while later to
set up what should have been an exciting finish between the Mercedes-AMG and Audi.
But it never came to pass after Team Valvoline's victory
chances were effectively ended in hour nine by a two-minute penalty for exceeding
Schumacher's maximum continuous stint time, which dropped the car off the lead lap.
SunEnergy1 thus inherited the lead, while Craft-Bamboo and
Triple Eight completed the top-three as the race ticked into its final quarter. And in the
damp but drying conditions it was Stolz who managed to eke out a near-20s lead over
Juncadella before switching to slicks and handing over to Gounon.
Engel, who'd climbed aboard Craft-Bamboo's entry the lap
before, survived a trip through Hell Corner's gravel trap and potential splitter damage to
gap Van Gisbergen and reduce some of Gounon's advantage. The pair underlined their factory
status by matching each other lap for lap and maintaining a 13s difference leading up to
the final round of pitstops.
Both crews, as well as Triple Eight, elected to take a new
set of Pirelli slicks for the last hour. But it was Craft-Bamboo who turned their
Mercedes-AMG around faster to reduce Engel's deficit to eight seconds.
However, that sniff of a chance was thwarted by Gounon who,
having maintained his advantage to the chequered flag, became the 12 Hour's first
back-to-back winner since Craft-Bamboo's team owner Darryl O'Young achieved the same feat
in 2011 and '12.
Triple Eight were there or thereabouts all day but couldn’t
quite match the pace of their Mercedes-AMG stablemates – a fact underlined by Supercars
and Bathurst great Van Gisbergen losing touch with the top-two.
Audi Sport were left pondering what might have been after
Van der Linde set a flurry of blistering lap times, as well as the day's fastest of all,
in the final two hours. #74 finished a lap off the lead in fourth, three places clear of
the sister Team Valvoline car that failed to challenge after falling off the lead lap
Meanwhile, the pole-winning Coinspot-entered R8 LMS Evo II
GT3 endured several issues despite Mostert's obvious pace before retiring for good after
clouting the wall approaching Skyline.
The same stretch of race track also accounted for Grove
Racing’s Porsche, which appeared odds-on to finish fifth. Instead, Wall Racing’s measured
approach helped Lamborghini to score its best-ever Bathurst finish in fifth overall.
Hallmarc’s Audi, shared by Lee Holdsworth, Dean Fiore and
Marc Cini, enjoyed a similarly trouble-free run to complete the top-six ahead of Team
Valvoline’s second R8 featuring Winkelhock, Ricardo Feller and Yasser Shahin.
Team BRM can be pleased with their eighth place after the
car was repaired on Saturday. Nick Percat and Joey Mawson made the most of the wet
conditions to spend time in the lead early on before time spent fixing a broken rain light
dropped the car that also included Mark Rosser down the order.
Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli points
will only be awarded just before the championship’s second round at the TotalEnergies 24
Hours of Spa, which takes place on July 28-31.
LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour
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SENSATIONAL MOSTERT BAGS LAST GASP BATHURST POLE FOR COINSPOT AND AUDI
star beats Van der Linde by 0.08s
Top-10 Pole Shootout
An incredible final sector helped Chaz Mostert beat fellow
Audi driver Kelvin van der Linde to LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour and Intercontinental GT
Challenge Powered by Pirelli pole position, as well as the Allan Simonsen Trophy, at Mount
Panorama earlier this evening (May 14).
The Coinspot R8 LMS Evo II GT3 had earlier qualified
fastest for the Pole Shootout with Liam Talbot’s help but went head-to-head with the rest
of the top-five following a late change to the session’s format.
Instead of the customary one-lap effort, qualifying’s
fastest 10 entries were split equally between the five fastest and slowest cars, and
permitted to complete as many laps as possible during their respective 15-minute session.
Any notion this might dampen Bathurst’s always exciting
dash for P1 was quickly dispelled by Mostert, Van der Linde and Ricardo Feller who traded
fastest laps at the start of the second session.
Mostert initially beat Feller but was toppled by Van der
Linde next time around. Undeterred, the Supercars star hit back to reclaim provisional
pole by 0.2s, which his South African rival and Melbourne Performance Centre garage-mate
subsequently trimmed to half-a-tenth.
Then, with just over two minutes left on the clock, the
Audi Sport Team Valvoline-entered R8 looked to have sealed the deal when Van der Linde
lapped a tenth quicker despite failing to improve in sector one.
The first two sectors also looked to be Mostert’s undoing
as the Australian – who also claimed pole for the Bathurst 1000 last December – began his
final lap. But a mighty run through The Chase and into the final corner proved sufficient
to turn a nine hundredths deficit into a 0.085s advantage at the line – the smallest
winning margin in 12 Hour qualifying history.
His 2m02.493s, the fastest lap of the weekend so far, also
made Mostert the first two-time recipient of the Allan Simonsen Trophy after he also
triumphed for BMW in 2018.
Jules Gounon set his fastest times at the end of the second
session to head up row two aboard SunEnergy1’s Mercedes-AMG. It was an impressive effort
to beat Feller in Team Valvoline’s second factory-backed Audi given the manufacturer’s
strong start to the weekend.
Another Mercedes-AMG starts right behind courtesy of Triple
Eight’s Shane van Gisbergen who set fastest time in the first Pole Shootout session, while
Lee Holdsworth completed the top-six in Hallmarc’s R8.
Grove Racing’s Porsche, driven by Ben Barker, lines up
seventh – one place ahead of the best-placed GT3 Am entry of Duvashen Padayachee.
Valmont’s Mercedes-AMG beat Wall Racing’s Lamborghini – which starts ninth – to fourth in
the first session.
RAM Motorsport’s Mercedes-AMG was a surprise addition to
the Pole Shootout’s second session given its Am status but dropped to 10th overall in the
This year’s LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour stages the opening
round of 2022’s Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli campaign on Sunday
morning. The race begins at 05:15 AEST (GMT +10) and is live on SRO’s GT World YouTube
channel. Fans in Australia and New Zealand can watch live via the Seven Network, Fox
Sports, Kayo and Sky Sports NZ.
Strong Field Set for Pirelli GT4 America Debut at NOLA Motorsports Park
- 32 GT4 Entries across nine manufacturers set for NOLA
- RS1 duo look to continue success from Sonoma
- Entry List | Timetable | Tickets
The Pirelli GT4 America series continues its 2022 season at a new track for SRO Motorsports America. Teams are heading to the NOLA Motorsports Park in Avondale, Louisiana on May 20-22. The 2.75-mile road course features 16 turns and a 5,800 ft. straightaway.
The Louisiana-based NOLASPORT Porsche team claims home track advantage for the weekend with three cars, including the Pro-Am entry of Scott Noble and co-driver Jason Hart in the #47 car. Driving in the Am class are drivers Sean Gibbons and Sean Owen in the #7, and Alan Staid and Thomas Merrill in the #19 car. The NOLASPORT team hopes to continue their success in Sonoma where Noble and Hart placed in second and third place in the Pro-Am Class in Races 1 and 2 respectively, while Staid and Merrill placed second in Am for Race 1.
Teams Look to Follow Up on Sonoma Success
Meanwhile, the #18 RS1 Porsche team of Eric Filguerias and Stevan McAleer will look to continue their podium dominance from Sonoma where they swept both weekend races winning both overall and in the Silver class. McAleer recorded the CrowdStrike Fastest Lap for both Races 1 and 2 with times of 1:46.124 and 1:47.022 respectively.
Also looking to return to the top of the podium after sweeping both races at Sonoma in the Pro-Am class, is the #15 BSport Racing Team with drivers Kenton Koch and Bryan Putt behind the wheel of the Aston Martin Vantage AMR. Koch said, "NOLA is actually the first place I ever worked with my teammate Bryan Putt. We haven't been back in the last five years, so we're excited to go back to enjoy the track and some good food!"
The team of James Clay and Charlie Postins in the #38 Bimmerworld BMW M4 hope to repeat their first place finish in Race 1 at Sonoma in the Am class. Also vying for a return to the top of the podium are Race 2 winners, the Dexter Racing Team of Matt Rivard and Ben Anderson in the #60 Ginetta G56.
Three Races Within GT4
Three categories race within the Pirelli GT4 America series. Silver, Pro-Am, and Am. They are differentiated by the drivers and their FIA Driver categories and pairings. Drivers are rated as Bronze - A racer in the early stages of their career, Silver - An accomplished club racer, Gold - a professional racer, and Platinum - The highest level of a professional racer, typically a factory driver. The pairings for the GT4 driver categories are as follows.
- Silver - Two Silver drivers
- Pro-Am - One Bronze and one Silver or above class driver
- Am - Two Bronze drivers
Here’s how the field of 32 will break down during the Pirelli GT4 America races at NOLA Motorsports Park.
Silver - Teams have already shown their talent with exciting wheel-to-wheel racing between the current overall and in class points leaders #18 RS1 of Eric Filguerias/Stevan McAleer and the #34 Conquest Racing/JMF Motorsports of Gavin Sanders/Michai Stephens for the majority of both Races 1 and 2 at the season opener in Sonoma sweeping the top two overall spots on the podium.
The #51 Auto Technic Racing Team of Austen Smith and Zac Anderson also had a strong showing with third place in category finishes in both weekend races. The Smooge Racing #68 (Kevin ConwayJohn Geesbreght) and Dexter Racing #122 (Dominic Starkweather/Ryan Dexter) teams hope to improve on their races at NOLA.
Pro-Am - With the most entries in the category, the talent is undeniable with 2021 GT America champion Jason Bell teaming up with Andrew Davis in the #2 GMG Racing team. They will be looking to challenge current points leaders Koch and Putt already landing atop the Sonoma podium, the #47 NOLASPORT team (Scott Noble/Jason Hart), the #8 Flying Lizard Motorsports (Elias Sabo/Andy Lee), and #50 Chouest Provoledo Racing Team (Ross Chouest/Aaron Povoledo) have also claimed podium finishes this season.
Fast Track Racing has two entries in the Pro-Am Category in the #10 piloted by Tim Horrell and Raphael Matos, and the #11 with Damon Surzyshyn and Gregory Liefooghe behind the wheel. Of three Auto Technic Racing cars, only the #52 of Capestro-Dubets and Capizzi competes in the Pro-Am class.
Hattori Motorsports (Seth Lucas/Matt Plumb) in the #016 is the only Toyota GR Supra racing in the category as is the #26 Thrive Motorsports/Topp Racing (Michael O’Brien/Thomas Surgent) McLaren 570S.
Coming off a top ten finish in Race 1 at Sonoma, the #930 Carbahn with Peregrine Racing (Mark Siegel/Tom Dyer) team will work toward strong finishes at the NOLA races.
The #24 Heart of Racing Team Aston Martin (Grey Newell/Ian James), BimmerWorld #82 BMW M4 (Devin Jones/James Walker Jr.)and #120 Premier Racing (Adam Adelson/Elliott Skeer) Porsche 718 Cayman will all look to gain points on the season the rounds three and four NOLA races.
Am - The #36 Bimmerworld team of Clay and Postins claimed first place honors in Race 1 at Sonoma, and followed with a second place finish in Race 2. They were followed on the podium by the #19 NOLASPORT team of Stad and Merrill in Race 1 and the #66 The Racers Group with DeBoer and Alexandridis behind the wheel. Meanwhile, the #60 Dexter Racing team of Rivard and Anderson took their debut of the Ginetta G56 all the way to the top of the podium followed by #19 NOLASPORT and #98 Random Vandals Racing in third place with drivers Sparta and Carter.
With the top podium finishes at Sonoma, the #36 BMW M4 has a commanding points lead in category with a total of 43. They are followed by the NOLASPORT team that is represented in class by Stad and Merrill in the #19 and #7 of Gibbons and Owen respectively.
In addition to the #36, the BMW M4 is strongly represented in the field by competition from the #53 Auto Technic Racing (Alex Filsinger/Rob Walker), and #80 Rooster Hall Racing (Todd Brown/Johan Schwartz) teams respectively.
The Carrus Callus Raceteam #21 of Shanny and Borcheller with field the only Toyota GR Supra in class.
Porsche regulars The Racers Group also support the #17 Porsche 718 Cayman driven by Dr. James Rappaport and Robert Orcutt. Also representing Porsche on the track is the RS1 #83 (Nelson Calle/Juan Martinez) and Regal Motorsports with Anthony Bartone and Andy Pigrim taking turns in the driver’s seat.
As part of an Invitational class, the #49 Team Saleen (Steve Saleen/Eric Curran) will continue to put the Saleen 1 to the test on the track against the rest of the GT4 field.
Be a Part of the Action
Tickets are available online for race day tickets, VIP experience, car corrals, premium parking, and more. Kids 12 and under are admitted for Free!
Can’t make it to the track? Tune in for all of the Pirelli GT4 America action on Friday, May 20 - 22 on the GTWorld YouTube Channel and the GT4 social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
The next round of Pirelli GT4 America racing will head to the East coast June 17-19 at Virginia International Raceway.
New Orleans Hosts GT Racing After Strong Season Opener in Sonoma
Following a thrilling start to the season at Sonoma, the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS series heads to Southern Louisiana for a weekend of action on the high-speed yet technical tarmac of NOLA Motorsports Park on May 20th - 22nd. This will be the first time SRO has visited this track since its opening in 2011, and it is renowned for having fast straights broken up by challenging technical sections.
GT World Challenge is comprised of 29 global events, with points going to each manufacturer based on how they finish in each National championship that includes America, Asia, Australia, and Europe. After seven rounds, Audi, Mercedes-AMG, and Porsche fill out the top three spots in season points.
New Orleans will feature 20 American based entrants featuring a variety of modern GT3 machinery and immense driving talent across three classes.
In the Pro championship, the two-time race-winning duo of Andrea Caldarelli and Jordan Pepper from Sonoma has been split up between the K-PAX Racing #1 and #3 Lamborghini Huracan GT3s to meet updated class regulations. Caldarelli will now team with Lamborghini Squadra Corse driver Michele Beretta in the #1 car, while Jordan Pepper will share the #3 with Misha Goikhberg.
US Racetronics’ Steven Aghakhani and Loris Spinelli have proven to be contenders in the #6 Mercedes-AMG GT3. The duo unfortunately suffered mechanical issues during Race 2 at Sonoma after earning a solid third place in Race 1 and look to fight for overall wins at NOLA.
With 50 points, K-PAX carved out a solid 20-point lead in the 2022 Pro championship, but this could quickly fade as the rest of the field is matched up with 30 points each. But depending on how racers get acquainted with the smooth and twisty Southern Louisiana pavement (for the first time, especially) there could be a big change-up in championship position.
The Turner Motorsport duo of Michael Dinan and Robby Foley is in solid contention for a top podium spot after showing solid pace in Northern California behind the wheel of their #96 BMW M4 GT3. Between the two of them, they’re no strangers to running at the front, and the new M4 GT3 is proving to be a very potent tool for the job.
The Pro-Am class will have the highest car-count in the series at NOLA after an action-packed showing in Northern California. Last round, the father/son-in-law duo of Charlie Luck and Jan Heylen drove home to victory in both Race 1 and Race 2, giving Wright Motorsports and Porsche a heck of a jump in season points.
However, Mario Farnbacher and Ashton Harrison didn’t make it easy on them in the #93 Racers Edge Motorsports Acura, and it’ll be interesting to see if the Florida based operation can climb the podium a bit higher at NOLA. Though, suffice to say it’s really anybody’s race, considering the tough battles throughout the pack in the previous round.
CrowdStrike Racing by Riley Motorsports’ George Kurtz and Colin Braun saw strong finishes in the #04 Mercedes-AMG GT3 in both Race 1 and Race 2 at Sonoma, and will definitely keep the heat turned up.
As will BimmerWorld’s Chandler Hull and Bill Auberlen in the #94 BMW M4 GT3. Also in BMW machinery, are Samantha Tan and Nick Wittmer, drivers of the #38 ST Racing BMW M4 GT3. They saw strong finishes at Sonoma, particularly Race 2 with Tan driving through the field to a solid finish for the first outing of the new M4 GT3.
Lamborghini is well represented in the Pro-Am class with Zelus Motorsports and their #191 and #88 Lamborghini Huracan GT3s, driven by Jeff Burton and Corey Lewis, and Jason Harward and Madison Snow, respectively. Giacomo Altoe rejoins Ziad Ghandour behind the wheel of the #9 TR3 Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3, after strong races together in 2021.
DXDT Racing brings the #08 Mercedes-AMG GT3 driven by Scott Smithson and Bryan Sellers, as well as the #63 driven by David Askew and Dirk Muller. Teammates Frank Gannett and Drew Staveley field the #12 Ian Lacy Racing Aston Martin AMR Vantage GT3.
Erin Vogel and Michael Cooper will co-pilot the #43 Realtime Racing Acura NSX GT3 Evo22. Finally, the #13 Triarsi Competizione Ferrari 488 GT3 will feature Justin Wetherill and Ryan Dalziel. There’s no shortage of heavy hitters in GT World Challenge America, and nowhere is that more clear than in Pro-Am.
Finally, rounding out the 20-car field are a pair of Ferrari 488 GT3s, campaigned by Triarsi Competizione and AF Corse. Both teams had a strong showing at Sonoma, but it was AF Corse that swept the race weekend. Perhaps it’ll be Triarsi’s time to claim the top spot? No matter which class it is, GT World Challenge America is sure to bring the thrills.
Be a Part of the Action
Tickets are available online for race day tickets, VIP experience, car corrals, premium parking, and more. Kids 12 and under are admitted for Free!
The weekend schedule, live timing and scoring, and session reports are available at gt-world-challenge-america.com. Check out race live streams for free on YouTube (GTWorld) and Twitch (SROMotorsports).
Finally, get up-to-the minute info on the Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS social channels on Facebook @gtworldchallengeamerica, Instagram @gtworldchallengeamerica and Twitter @gtworldcham.
Touring Car Racing Debuts at NOLA for Double Header Weekend
- 29 Entries across TCX, TC, and TCA
- Ruud (TCX) and Boehm (TC) remain undefeated
- Five Manufacturers Ready for the Big Easy
- Entry List | Timetable | Tickets
After an action-packed first race weekend of the season at Sonoma in mid-April, TC America powered by Skip Barber heads down to Louisiana's NOLA Motorsports Park, just outside the city limits of New Orleans. Weather took a toll on the field during the last season-opening round, and it might be a factor yet again as southern Louisiana expects to see light showers on Saturday, followed by thunderstorms on Sunday.
The follow-up event is sure to please race fans as the massive 29-car field, spread across three classes, offers the best touring car racing in the country with its diverse field of manufacturers. This is only the second race of the SRO season, but the heat is already on after some hard-fought action all weekend long at Sonoma.
Eight BMW M2 CS Cup cars make up the TCX field, one more than there was at Sonoma, and proving to be one of the healthiest seasons in TC America history. The class has only seen Crowdstrike Fastest Lap winner Jacob Ruud at the top of the podium so far in 2022, as he swept Sonoma in the #1 Fast Track Racing car. Though, with seven other talented drivers in the mix, plus it being the first time TC America has raced at NOLA, we’ll just have to wait and see how the race weekend plays out.
Due to the double podium last time around, Fast Track Racing is leading the season by a healthy margin of 17 points. Though, Rigid Speed and Accelerating Performance are both tied at 33 points, which could be enough to jump right past them. Especially considering their places on the podium at Sonoma. Though, Garrett Adams, driver of the #54 Fast Track Racing car, showed strong progression over the course of the April event, and could see a podium spot himself, which would give Fast Track a more comfortable lead in points. Steve Streimer was just off the podium for both races at Sonoma, and is definitely a contender for a top-three finish as well.
TC is sure to be full of action after riding momentum from Sonoma. Kevin Boehm swept the weekend in his #9 Skip Barber Racing Civic Type R, though will have his hands full with sweeping podium mates Clay Williams and Crowdstrike Fastest Lap winner Mat Pombo right on his tail. TC is a solid showing of RWD vs. FWD, with four capable, turbocharged chassis by BMW, Honda, Mini, and Hyundai duking it out.
Skip Barber Racing is leading season points by a considerable 17-point margin, but this is no time to get comfortable, as LA Honda World has World Challenge veteran Mat Pombo and Mike Lamarra in its ranks, the latter of whom has had some strong finishes not too far outside the podium.
Rounding out TC America is the most populous class in the series, TCA, with 11 entries. Like TC, this is a strong showing of FWD vs. RWD, though slightly modified: the naturally aspirated Subaru BRZ vs. the turbocharged Honda Civic Si, Mini JCW, and Hyundai Elantra N-Line. Carter Fartuch and Gresham Wagner traded first and second spots on the podium at Sonoma, while Spencer Bucknum swept the bottom spot.
Like TC, Skip Barber Racing and LA Honda World have a few entries in this class as well, and could handle the tight and technical sections of NOLA quite well in their Honda Civic Sis. The same goes for Sally McNulty of the #780 VGRT Racing Team Honda Civic Si, who’s been in the class for a few seasons now, and has laid down some solid results over the past two seasons.
Tickets are available online for race day tickets, VIP experience, car corrals, premium parking, and more. Kids 12 and under are admitted for free! Can’t make it to the track? Be sure to watch the action unfold over at the GT World YouTube channel.
The weekend schedule, live timing and scoring, are available at tcamerica.us.
Get up-to-the-minute info on the TC America powered by Skip Barber social channels on Facebook @touringcaramerica, Instagram @touringcaramerica, and Twitter @tc_america.
NEW-LOOK LIQUI MOLY BATHURST 12 HOUR READY TO KICKSTART 2022 INTERCONTINENTAL GT CHALLENGE POWERED BY PIRELLI CAMPAIGN
> Pro-Am class centre of attention Down Under
> All GT3 entries eligible for IGTC manufacturers’ points
> Live coverage on SRO’s GT World YouTube channel
> Provisional entry list: LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour
Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli roars back into life Down Under next weekend (May 13-15) when the globe-trotting GT3 series returns to the LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour for the first time since 2020.
This year, and for the first time in IGTC history, a Pro-Am or Am driver crew will clinch outright victory following the event organiser’s decision to suspend the Pro and Silver classes.
It’s also the first time that an ‘amateur’ competitor – classified as a Bronze by the FIA – has a realistic chance of winning at Mount Panorama since specific driver categorisation was introduced in 2015. IGTC first visited Bathurst one year later.
Nevertheless, GT3’s 15-strong provisional entry still features many world-class professional drivers from the realms of GT racing and Australia’s domestic Supercars championship. What’s more, Pro-Am provides the backbone to most GT3 series on every continent, including Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS for which the Bathurst 12 Hour comprises its first Endurance Championship round of 2022.
Fans unable to attend Mount Panorama can watch the LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour live and for free on SRO’s GT World YouTube channel, while Fox Sports, the Seven Network and Kayo also carry live coverage across Australia.
PRO-AM FOCUS PROMPTS TEMPORARY IGTC RULES TWEAKS
The Bathurst 12 Hour’s global appeal is based, in part, on the many manufacturer-backed teams and factory drivers that travel from Asia, Europe and beyond each year. That and its traditional February date also make the event Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli’s ideal season opener.
However, with manufacturer participation reducing this year due to the Covid-19-enforced date change, SRO Motorsports Group has made temporary alterations to its IGTC regulations that are designed to maintain and renew OEM interest from Round 2 onwards without diminishing their efforts next weekend.
Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG and reigning manufacturers’ champions Audi Sport have already committed to full-season IGTC programmes. As a one-off, though, all manufacturers contesting the GT3 class in Australia will be eligible to score Intercontinental points.
The existing process of each manufacturer nominating a maximum of four cars has also been suspended. Instead, only each manufacturer’s highest placed car will provisionally score points. These will not be officially awarded until the complete list of IGTC entrants is released just before Round 2, which takes place at the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa in July. Points are still awarded in the usual order of 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1.
Overall drivers’ championship points will not be awarded at all at Bathurst, although Pro-Am Challenge points will be scored by crews that have registered for the classification.
BIG NAMES READY TO CLIMB THE MOUNTAIN
A total of 15 ‘Class A’ GT3s, split between 12 Pro-Am and three Am crews, are all provisionally eligible to score IGTC manufacturers’ championship points for either Audi Sport, Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG or Porsche next Sunday, while a further two Porsche GT3 Cup and three Invitational cars have also entered.
Audi Sport, the event’s most successful brand, is the best represented manufacturer thanks to seven 2022-spec R8 LMS Evo II GT3s. It’s also not short on star names, which include reigning Repco Bathurst 1000 winners Chaz Mostert and Lee Holdsworth.
There’s also several, still to be announced factory drivers who will feature in two of the six cars entered by Audi Sport Customer Racing Australia.
Reigning Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia Powered by AWS champion Yasser Shahin, Bathurst podium finisher David Russell, Bathurst winner Nick Percat and current Australian Drivers’ Champion Joey Mawson all add further firepower to Ingolstadt’s quest for a fourth 12 Hour win and record-extending ninth IGTC victory.
The championship’s most recent race winner, Mercedes-AMG, is also well stocked with six cars.
Like Audi Sport, several factory drivers remain TBC. But there’s already no shortage of them at IGTC’s reigning Pro-Am Challenge champions SunEnergy1 Racing where Kenny Habul and Martin Konrad share with Luca Stolz and Jules Gounon, who won the last 12 Hour to be staged in 2020.
Triple Eight are also undoubtedly contenders thanks to the combination of reigning Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen and rising rookie star Broc Feeney who are joined by Prince Jefri Ibrahim.
Hong Kong outfit Craft-Bamboo, who represented Mercedes-AMG on the Mountain in 2019 and ’20, will also reveal another star line-up in the coming days.
Porsche will be represented by five-time 12 Hour class winners Grove Racing whose 911 GT3 R is crewed by father/son duo Stephen and Brenton Grove plus FIA World Endurance Championship ace Ben Barker who returns with them this year.
And Lamborghini is also in the running for IGTC points courtesy of Wall Racing. Bathurst local and television presenter Grant Denyer joins Carrera Cup champion David Wall, Supercars racer Tony D’Alberto and Adrian Deitz.
2022 LIQUI MOLY BATHURST 12 HOUR TIMETABLE (AEST)
Thursday 12 May
10:30 – 13:45: Town to Track Parade
Friday 13 May
10:00 – 10:30: Free Practice 1 (Bronze drivers only)
10:40 – 11:10: Free Practice 2
15:20 – 16:00: Free Practice 3 (Bronze drivers only)
17:05 – 17:45: Free Practice 4
Saturday 14 May
08:05 – 09:05: Free Practice 5
09:55 – 10:55: Free Practice 6
13:20 – 13:45: Qualifying 1 (Bronze drivers only)
13:55 – 14:20: Qualifying 2 (Pro drivers only)
16:10 – 16:55: Top 10 Shootout
Sunday 15 May
05:15 – 17:15: Bathurst 12 Hour
totalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa excitement builds with launch of official poster and full event timetable
- Fourth poster by Guillaume Lopez continues distinctive series of Ardennes artworks
- Full timetable for TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa and support series revealed
- Fewer than 100 days remain before twice-around-the-clock race begins 74th edition
- Race start confirmed for 16:45 on Saturday 30 July
Preparations for the 2022 TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa have reached an important milestone with the launch of the race's official poster and confirmation of a full timetable for the 28-31 July event.
This year's artwork is the fourth in succession created by Guillaume Lopez, whose instantly identifiable style has become closely linked with the Belgian endurance classic. The 2022 poster depicts headlights cutting through darkness against an unmistakably Ardennes backdrop, capturing a mood that is synonymous with the twice-around-the-clock contest.
At its centre we see the #21 Mercedes-AMG GT3, bedecked in its distinctive silver and red CrowdStrike livery. This recognises the recent announcement that the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa will receive unprecedented protection from cyber threats in 2022 and beyond thanks to a new presenting partnership with CrowdStrike.
Contrasting the darkness, we also see the fluorescent yellow of the #46 Team WRT Audi in which Valentino Rossi will make his TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa debut this summer. With the car also featuring local favourite Fredéric Vervisch and regular front-runner Nico Müller, it is certain to be closely watched by fans throughout the event.
Indeed, this year's TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa will welcome a full contingent of spectators back to the Ardennes venue, ensuring a true return following two editions run under Covid regulations. With the timetable also revealed, fans can begin to plan for race week. As ever track activity gets underway on Tuesday 26 July with the Bronze Test, a three-hour session that begins at 14:55.
Attention moves away from the circuit on Wednesday 27 July when the annual parade to Spa town centre makes a popular return following a two-year absence, allowing the public to see the stars and their cars in person. Open to attend free of charge, this will reprise the tradition of featuring every entrant contesting the twice-around-the-clock race, as well as some noteworthy additions from the support package.
The action ramps up on Thursday with significant running for the full field of TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa contenders. A 90-minute Free Practice will get underway at 10:50, followed by a one-hour Pre-Qualifying session at 16:15. This will set the stage for the main Qualifying at 20:35, which decides the 20 Super Pole contenders and establishes the starting order for the remainder of the grid. The day ends with Night Practice, providing competitors with 90 minutes' running in darkness from 22:15.
Friday evening traditionally produces the quickest laps of the event and begins at 18:15 with a 30-minute warm-up, which is open to the full field. Then, at 18:55, the Super Pole session will see the fastest 20 cars battle for top spot, with just one driver from more than 200 entrants rising above the rest to secure pole.
Meanwhile, a host of high-level support series will also take their turn on the circuit. The 2022 line-up includes familiar categories such as Lamborghini Super Trofeo and the GT4 European Series, while single-seater competition returns to the event thanks to the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine and Championnat de France FFSA F4. There will be virtual action, too, courtesy of the Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series. Real-world drivers will tackle a one-hour Assetto Corsa Competizione race in the on-site Fanatec Esports Arena at 15:05 on Friday, with overall and Silver Cup teams’ championships points up for grabs.
What’s more, a historic GT event organised by Peter Auto will join the programme to celebrate 30 years of SRO Motorsports Group. GT Anniversary 2022 will give spectators a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch the most iconic machinery of the past three decades in a pair of 60-minute contests, while the cars will also make a special appearance in Wednesday’s parade. The second GT Anniversary race will represent the final competitive activity before the main event, with the 74th TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa setting off at 16:45 on Saturday 30 July.
In addition to the wealth of on-track entertainment, attendees can also enjoy the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa Fan Zone. Located at the bottom of Raidillon, attractions will include simulators, historic racing machinery, merchandising stalls, food and drink stands and much more. The Saturday evening concert will also make a popular return, with major names from the European music scene taking the event deep into the night. As such a significant spectator turnout is expected, while the race will also enjoy the usual extensive live coverage via a host of free-to-view online options, with French, English, German and Italian commentary options available.
The headline race of Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS and Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli, the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa is acknowledged as the global pinnacle in long-distance GT racing. Scheduled for 28-31 July, the 2022 running will represent the 74th running since its inauguration in 1924. Tickets are on sale now for what promises to be another memorable edition of the Belgian endurance classic.
TICKETS & TIMETABLE
Get your tickets via the following link: click here
Provisional Timetable : click here
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Twitter : TotalEnergies24hoursofspa
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Hashtag : #Spa24h
NOLA MOTORSPORTS PARK TO HOST FIRST-EVER INTERNATIONAL SPORTS CAR WEEKEND
SRO America Prepares for An Action-Packed Race Weekend in The Big Easy
Racing is all about fast reactions and quickly making the right moves. The latest move by SRO Motorsports America is bringing world-class GT and Touring Car racing to NOLA Motorsports Park, a premier racing venue that’s a short drive from downtown New Orleans, May 20-22. This race had not been a part of the original 2022 SRO race calendar, but circumstances over the past few years have meant that many events have had to rapidly adapt, often shifting dates and venues.
This will be the first-ever race weekend for Fanatec GT World Challenge America powered by AWS at NOLA. The action-packed weekend of racing will also feature Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America, Pirelli GT4 America, and TC America powered by Skip Barber. A mega mix of over 100 high-speed machines from the top GT and Touring Car manufacturers will compete in New Orleans.
Fans will have full access to the paddock and a variety of activities to get up-close with the race cars and drivers, including autograph sessions, grid walk, and podium celebrations. This supercar weekend features the best from Acura, Aston Martin, BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG, Porsche, and more.
"We are appreciative of NOLA for being able to step in to maintain our schedule on such short notice. We are equally excited to bring professional sports car racing back to the NOLA Motorsports Park’s premier facility, and we’re looking forward to bringing New Orleans race fans out to take part in this high speed experience,” noted Greg Gill, president and CEO of SRO Motorsports America.
"After renovating our facility with several upgrades, NOLA Motorsports Park is more than ready to welcome back fans to our FIA Grade 2 world-class race course,” said NOLA Motorsports Park General Manager, David Pace. "Getting the opportunity to host the SRO series in three short weeks will be an amazing challenge and we thank Greg Gill and his team for trusting us to make this happen."
Jack Baldwin, the SRO Pirelli GT4 America Series Director, and a former racer noted, “I love the NOLA track. I think it’s going to suit our competitors very well. It’s a technical track with some fast and flowing sections. When you put it all together it is quite fun to drive.”
Driver reactions to the new venue have been positive:
Jordan Pepper, Fanatec GT World Challenge (#1 K-PAX Racing Lamborghini): "I watched a couple IndyCar and GT on-boards around NOLA to get a good understanding on what to expect. It's important that we execute everything -- even the smallest details -- perfectly. Andrea [Caldarelli] and I are both excited for the new challenge of a new track. I expect good, close racing from the track and its layout. I'm also looking forward to the New Orleans vibe.
Kenton Koch, Pirelli GT4 America (#15 BSPort Aston Martin): "NOLA is actually the first place I ever worked with my teammate Bryan Putt. We haven't been back in the last five years, so we're excited to go back to enjoy the track and some good food!"
Derek DeBoer, Pirelli GT4 America (#66 The Racers Group Porsche): “Part of racing is adapting to change, but also getting to enjoy some great locations around the world. I’m excited to step onto the NOLA Motorsports park for my first time and also look forward to the gaps where we’ll get to enjoy the great city of New Orleans!”
NOLA MOTORSPORTS PARK: NOLA is a world-class race course meeting all FIA Grade 2 specifications. The 2.75 Mile Road Course features 16 Turns and a 5,800 ft Straightaway. This will be the first-ever international level race car series for the track. NOLA previously hosted an IndyCar weekend in 2015. The track, constructed in 2011, has undergone extensive improvements since 2019.
Friday, May 20 | 8:00 a.m. – 5:40 p.m.
Saturday, May 21 | 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Saturday, May 21 | 11:20 a.m. – 5:20 p.m.
Sunday, May 22 | 8:45 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
THE BIGGEST VALUE FOR FANS: Ticket prices start at just $10 for Friday tickets, and a three-day pass is $50. Kids 12 and under and parking are free of charge. Tickets can be purchased online, or at the gate.
NO PADDOCK PASSES REQUIRED: Every general admission ticket includes paddock access to get up-close with the cars, drivers, and teams. This is a fan friendly paddock with the ultimate accessibility to all the action.
VIP CAR CORRAL: Have a sports car? The NOLA Car Corral offers an exclusive experience to join fellow car enthusiasts in an all-make environment with premium parking with your sports car. Includes a Saturday or Sunday parade lap, exclusive pavement parking area close to the paddock, and more. Includes one weekend General Admission.
KARTING: In addition to the race track, NOLA hosts “The Fastest Karting Track in the South.” The karting track will be open for arrive-and-drive customers all weekend.
OVER THREE DECADES OF HERITAGE: The multiple series managed by the SRO Motorsports America umbrella can trace their origins to GT & Touring Car Championships launched in the 1980’s. Many fans remember the series under previous names of SPEED World Challenge, and Pirelli World Challenge. Pirelli has been the exclusive tire provider to the series since 2011.
VARIETY WITH GT AND TC RACING: NOLA Motorsports Park will be sports car heaven. Learn more about the SRO Motorsports America championships in action, plus our special guest Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America. Each has its own website with additional information.
FOLLOW ALONG: All races are streamed live and archived for on-demand viewing at www.youtube.com/gtworld or www.twitch.tv/sromotorsports. SRO America championships also feature broadcasts on CBS Sports.
Stay up to speed by following our social channels throughout the event for the latest news, information, and giveaways!
SCCA Enduro National Tour Nears!
It’s almost here! Following quite a bit of anticipation, the
green flag for the historic launch of the SCCA Enduro National Tour takes place this weekend at Nelson Ledges Road
Course. Two days, 16 hours of racing – this is going to be awesome!
ProSolo: One Year Later
One year and countless hours of work later, the 2022 Tire
Rack SCCA Charlotte ProSolo weekend demonstrated that the ProSolo timing system is ready to rock once more.
Inside the SCCA: SCCA’s Eric
“Inside the SCCA” podcast's Brian Bielanski chats with
SCCA’s Vice President of Road Racing Eric Prill about the new Green-to-Checker movement.
PBIR Closes Its Doors
Despite a passionate effort by the motorsports community,
Palm Beach International Raceway waved the checkered flag on the facility on April 23, 2022.
PIR Hoosier Super Tour: Recap
The eighth round of this year’s Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA
Super Tour visited Portland International Raceway, and with it came intense racing, challenging conditions, and a lot of
Time Trials Nationals Wrap-Up
Sunday’s KONI Podium Celebration brought
the 2022 Tire Rack SCCA Time Trials Nationals Powered by Hagerty to a close, with everyone taking the opportunity to
celebrate more than the fastest drivers.
GRM: How to Tackle Track Days
Your first track day can be intimidating:
high speeds, looming walls, and the variable of traffic. Fear not, as GRM's tips
will help you have a successful first event, followed by another and another...
The Countdown Begins: Time Trials Nationals
The Tire Rack SCCA Time Trials Nationals Powered by Hagerty is one of the best experiences you can have participating at a pinnacle SCCA event – it’s a measured fact. Taking place May 12-15 in Bowling Green, KY, at NCM Motorsports Park, event registration is open for what is arguably one of the finest times you can have as an SCCA member.
Portland HST: At A Glance
The Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour is well into the second half of its 10-event season, with the next stop being May 14-15 at Portland International Raceway.
SCCA Enduro Tire Strategy
With the SCCA Enduro National Tour at Nelson Ledges Presented by Summit Racing Equipment just over one week away on May 20-22, it’s time to button up your tire strategy.
Dixie SEDiv Championship
Taking place prior to the 2022 RallyCross National Championship, the SCCA RallyCross Dixie SEDiv Championship in June is a National-caliber RallyCross event.
Inside the SCCA: VETMotorsports
This week on the “Inside the SCCA” podcast, Marine Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Guest, Jr., discusses VETMotorsports, which helps veterans experience racing.
Beeville Solo NT Fast Notes
The SCCA Solo “Road to Lincoln” reached the midway point of its 2022 points season with the Tire Rack SCCA South Texas Solo National Tour at Chase Field in Beeville, TX.
Charlotte ProSolo Fast Notes
The Tire Rack SCCA Charlotte ProSolo was the season’s fifth ProSolo of the year, and with more than 200 drivers in attendance at zMAX Dragway in Concord, NC, the event didn't disappoint.
'22 RallyCross National Championship
The date and location for the 2022 SCCA RallyCross National Championship have been locked in, with RallyCrossers from across the nation now set to converge on Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, CO, on Sept. 23-25.
Braking Points: Enduro vs. Sprint
Hawk Performance knows a thing or two about stopping, and for SCCA Enduro National Tour participants, that knowledge could very well “stop” mistakes from happening when it's too late.
KONI – TNiA's Featured Partner
Whether it’s the value-packed adjustable “yellow” KONI Sports, the street-tuned STR.T “orange” lineup, or beyond, you don’t have to go far to find KONI dampers on a vehicle at SCCA events.
Hagerty: Delivered Right To You
Want to stay ahead of the curve with the most up to date car content? Get your dose of all things automotive – stories, discounts, videos, and more – delivered to your inbox with Hagerty!
PittRace Hoosier Super Tour: Recap
The 2022 Hoosier Racing Tire SCCA Super Tour made its first appearance at Pittsburgh International Race Complex this past weekend, and the facility impressed drivers from the get-go.
Crows Landing ProSolo Fast Notes
The Tire Rack SCCA ProSolo Series lit up the starting line on the West Coast last weekend at the popular Crows Landing Naval air station, seeing 154 drivers vying for the win.
RACER Magazine Has a Deal for You
Enjoy reading about professional racing? The folks at RACER magazine have deep roots within the SCCA, and as such have extended a subscription offer that's all but impossible to resist.
| trans am series||Sports Car Club of America|
2022 Trans Am West Coast Schedule
April 22-24 Trans Am SpeedFest (WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca)*
April 30-May 1 Sonoma SpeedTour (Sonoma Raceway) *
June 10-12 The Ridge SpeedTour (The Ridge Motorsports Park)
July 15-17 Portland SpeedTour (Portland International Raceway)
Oct. 14-16 Utah SpeedTour (Utah Motorsports Campus) ^
Nov. 4-6 Austin SpeedTour (Circuit of the Americas) *
*Combined National and West Coast Event
Time Trials National Tour 2022 Schedule
March 26-27: Carolina Motorsports Park; Kershaw, SC
- April 23-24: Eagles Canyon Raceway; Decatur, TX
- May 12-15: Time Trials Nationals @ NCM Motorsports Park; Bowling Green, KY
- July 1-2: Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park; Thompson, CT
- July 16-17: GingerMan Raceway; South Haven, MI
- August 6-7: New Jersey Motorsports Park; Millville, NJ
- August 27-28: Pittsburgh International Race Complex; Wampum, PA
- October 29-30: Buttonwillow Raceway Park; Buttonwillow, CA
- November 5-6: Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta; Braselton, GA
| Intercontinental american GT Challenge|
2022 INTERCONTINENTAL GT CHALLENGE POWERED BY PIRELLI
R1 – February 25-27 – LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour (Australasia)
R2 – July 28-31 – TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa (Europe)
R3 – October 7-9 – Indianapolis 8 Hour Presented by AWS (North America)
R4 – December 1-3 – Joburg Kyalami 9 Hour (Africa)