SunEnergy1 and Mercedes-AMG go back-to-back in record-breaking Bathurst 12 Hour

Intercontinental GT Challenge
5 Feb. 2023 • 9:19
Habul, Stolz and Gounon beat Manthey EMA and GruppeM in epic finish.
Photo : Kevin Pecks

SunEnergy1 and Mercedes-AMG defended their LIQUI Moly Bathurst 12 crown in epic fashion and made the perfect to this year’s Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli campaign by beating Manthey EMA and GruppeM Racing to victory in Australia’s International Enduro.


Kenny Habul, Luca Stolz and Jules Gounon also belied their status as Pro class underdogs to lead home a top-three covered by just 1.5s at the end of a thrilling encounter around Mount Panorama where a record-breaking 53,000-strong crowd witnessed the fastest race in the event’s history.


It was also incredibly close thanks to the grandstand finish between Gounon, Matt Campbell and recovering Maro Engel who fought back from a drive-through penalty deep in the final hour after contact with Gounon at The Chase turned SunEnergy1’s Mercedes-AMG around.


Campbell, along with his fellow Porsche factory co-drivers Mathieu Jaminet and Thomas Preining, took the chequered flag just 0.9s behind Gounon after failing to work an opening over the final 20 minutes, while Engel – who shared GruppeM’s Mercedes-AMG with Raffaele Marciello and Mikael Grenier – made up 14 seconds in his pursuit of the leaders.


The result saw Habul and Stolz go back-to-back at the Mountain, while Gounon became the first driver to win three 12 Hours. Those victories were achieved across consecutive events. And Mercedes-AMG also equalled Audi Sport’s record after visiting victory lane for a third time.


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