Historic 1-2-3 for Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing at famous Mount Panorama

May 15, 2022
Bathurst

Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing achieved a historic 1-2-3 in the Bathurst 12 Hour. For the first time in the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC), three cars of a single manufacturer locked out the first three positions. Victory in the season opener at Mount Panorama Circuit, around 6.2 kilometres long, went to the SunEnergy1 Racing team with the Mercedes-AMG GT3 with starting number 75, driven by Jules Gounon (FRA), Kenny Habul (AUS), Martin Konrad (AUT) and Luca Stolz (GER). Only 8.707 seconds down, Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing saw its #91 car with Maro Engel (GER), Daniel Juncadella (ESP) and Kevin Tse (MAC) finish second. Broc Feeney (AUS), Shane van Gisbergen (NZL) and Prince Jefri Ibrahim (MAS) claimed the final podium slot, finishing third in the car with starting number eight, run by Triple Eight Racing Engineering. For Mercedes-AMG, it was the second victory at the famous Mount Panorama after 2013.

  • Perfect IGTC season opener for Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing in Australia
  • First-ever top-three lock-out for a manufacturer in Intercontinental GT Challenge
  • SunEnergy1 Racing wins from Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing and Triple Eight Race Engineering

Best Mercedes-AMGG GT3 in qualifying was the car with starting number 75. With a time of 2m 03.2192s, Jules Gounon secured third place on the grid for the SunEnergy1 Racing team in the final qualifying session. The #888 Mercedes-AMG GT3, driven by Shane van Gisbergen, ended up fifth on the grid. Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing had discovered an engine issue after practice on Friday, which could have had a negative effect during the race. Therefore, the Performance Team decided to replace the engine as a precaution and had to take on the endurance racing classic from the back of the grid.

Field starts behind the safety car due to poor visibility

The Bathurst 12 Hour, held in May and therefore during the autumn in Australia for the first time, was affected by changeable weather conditions that required everything from the drivers. During the start early on Sunday morning at 5.15am local time (9.15 pm on Saturday evening CEST), dense fog made conditions in the dark quite extreme. Race control decided to start the race behind the safety car. In the opening third of the race, the race was neutralised behind the safety car six times already.

In the final hours of the Bathurst 12 Hour, the three Mercedes-AMG GT3s run by SunEnergy1 Racing, Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing and Triple Eight Race Engineering staged a three-way battle for victory, having moved up into the first three positions in the demanding third quarter of the race. In the process, Jules Gounon in the car with starting number 75, Maro Engel in the #91 entry and Shane van Gisbergen in the #888 car drove the final turn. While van Gisbergen, around one minute and a half down, was too far off to still be in contention for victory, Gounon and Engel staged an open battle. The German was able to temporarily reduce the gap from 16 to only seven seconds, but eventually, Gounon successfully defended the lead.

Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing finishes on the podium from the back row of the grid

Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing with Engel, Juncadella and Tse particularly caught the attention with an impressive recovery drive. Having started from the back row of the grid, the team with starting number 91 worked its way up and made up a total of 17 positions. In the opening stages already, Maro Engel quickly made up ground and moved up into twelfth position prior to heading into the pit lane for a fuel stop as the first participant.

In the race-winning number 75 car, it was Luca Stolz in particular who paved the way to success with a spirited double stint prior to handing over to Gounon for the final part. Thus, the Frenchman repeated his victory from 2020, the race having been cancelled last year due to the travel restrictions that were in place. His joy when crossing the finish line after 291 laps was accordingly huge. Next to Gounon and Stolz, Austrian Martin Konrad and local hero Kenny Habul had also shown faultless performances throughout the race.

Round two of the Intercontinental GT Challenge at Spa at the end of July

After the Bathurst 12 Hour, the Intercontinental GT Challenge schedule includes three further endurance races on three different continents. The next IGTC outing for the Mercedes-AMG customer teams is the TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa, held at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium from 28th till 31st July. Indianapolis in the US from 7th till 9th October and Kyalami in South Africa from 1st till 3rd December are rounds three and four of the 2022 season.

Stefan Wendl, head of Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing: “This historic triumph for Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing is something really special! After qualifying, it was clear to us that we wouldn’t be able to beat the opposition by means of lap times. Therefore, we opted for a very aggressive strategy with short pit stops and short standing times. When the rain arrived, we were able to make full use of the strengths of our Mercedes-AMG GT3. Huge thanks go out to our customer sport teams SunEnergy1 Racing, Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing and Triple Eight Race Engineering for enabling this top-three lock-out. Thanks and appreciation also to the amateur drivers who have played a very important role in this race.”

Jules Gounon, driver, SunEnergy1 Racing #75: “This is a fabulous success, also for SunEnergy1 Racing and for Mercedes-AMG with the 1-2-3. We were pushing it to the limit to remain in front. Today, we have pulled it off, and that at this unbelievable circuit. It is simply fantastic!”

Luca Stolz, driver, SunEnergy1 Racing #75: “Just super! A great result for the team! It was a crazy week, beautiful from the beginning till the end and with a lot of fun. It definitely wasn’t easy, but we haven’t made any mistakes. Nevertheless, it was quite close in the end. It couldn’t have been any better, and neither for Mercedes-AMG with a 1-2-3.”

Daniel Juncadella, driver, Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing #91: “That was really good! It was my first participation in Bathurst and I finished second straight away. Of course, I am happy for everybody, the team and Mercedes-AMG. It was a nice week and I am looking forward to coming back in February next year and then complete the next step.”

Shane van Gisbergen, driver, Triple Eight Race Engineering #888: “The strategy of our team was really good and we made no mistakes. However, we lacked a little bit of speed to really be in contention up front. I have to say that Prince Ibrahim did a very good job. After all, he was out with slicks for a very long time when it rained. It is the first podium for him and Broc Feeney, therefore we are very happy.”

Result, Bathurst 12 Hour1:

Pos.
overall

Pos.
class

Nr.

Car

Team

Drivers

Laps

1.

1.
Pro-Am

75

Mercedes-AMG GT3

SunEnergy1 Racing

Jules Gounon (FRA), Kenny Habul (AUS), Martin Konrad (AUT), Luca Stolz (GER)

291

2.

2.
Pro-Am

91

Mercedes-AMG GT3

Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing

Maro Engel (GER), Daniel Juncadella (ESP), Kevin Tse (MAC)

291

3.

3.
Pro-Am

888

Mercedes-AMG GT3

Triple Eight Race Engineering

Broc Feeney (AUS), Shane van Gisbergen (NZL), Prince Jefri Ibrahim (MAS)

291

...

 

 

 

 

 

 

12.

2.
Am

55

Mercedes-AMG GT3

Valmont Racing

Duvashen Padayachee (AUS), Sergio Pires (AUS), Marcel Zalloua (AUS)

199

DNF

DNF

Am

45

Mercedes-AMG GT3

RAM Motorsport

Brett Hobson (AUS), Michael Sheargold (AUS), Garth Walden (AUS)

170

DNF

DNF

Pro-Am

19

Mercedes-AMG GT3

Nineteen Corporation Pty Ltd

Will Brown (AUS), Mark Griffith (AUS), Jack Perkins (AUS)

33

1 excerpt subject to confirmation by the organisers

Triple Eight Race Engineering, SunEnergy1 Racing and Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing at the podium ceremony
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#75 Mercedes-AMG GT3, SunEnergy1 Racing, #888 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Triple Eight Race Engineering
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#75 Mercedes-AMG GT3, SunEnergy1 Racing
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Martin Konrad, Kenny Habul, Jules Gounon and Luca Stolz, #75 Mercedes-AMG GT3, SunEnergy1 Racing
PI_Mercedes_AMG_15_05_2022_Customer Racing_IGTC-Bathurst_4
Daniel Juncadella, Maro Engel and Kevin Tse, #91 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing
PI_Mercedes_AMG_15_05_2022_Customer Racing_IGTC-Bathurst_5
Shane van Gisbergen, Broc Feeney and Prince Jefri Ibrahim, #888 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Triple Eight Race Engineering
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#91 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Mercedes-AMG Team Craft-Bamboo Racing
PI_Mercedes_AMG_15_05_2022_Customer Racing_IGTC-Bathurst_7
#55 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Valmont Racing
PI_Mercedes_AMG_15_05_2022_Customer Racing_IGTC-Bathurst_9
#888 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Triple Eight Race Engineering
PI_Mercedes_AMG_15_05_2022_Customer Racing_IGTC-Bathurst_8
#45 Mercedes-AMG GT3, RAM Motorsport
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#19 Mercedes-AMG GT3, Nineteen Corporation Pty Ltd
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The six Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing Teams in the pit lane of the Mount Panorama Circuit
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Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+, Safety Car at the Bathurst 12 Hour
PI_Mercedes_AMG_15_05_2022_Customer Racing_IGTC-Bathurst_12


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