12 Hours of Bathurst 2023: What is it and where can I watch it?

12 Hours of Bathurst 2023: What is it and where can I watch it?

Want to know more about the 12 Hours of Bathurst this weekend? Here is a chair guide to Australia’s international endurance race.

Photo credit: Supercars

This weekend marks the 20th edition of the Bathurst 12 hoursan endurance race held at the world famous Mount Panorama racetrack in regional New South Wales.

The 2023 edition of the race will be the first at “full strength” since 2020 after the global pandemic canceled the 2021 race and massively reduced the number of participants in 2022.

Unlike October’s Bathurst 1000 – which is exclusively for teams, cars and drivers in V8 supercars – the Bathurst 12 Hour is a race between some of the most coveted supercars in the world, created by the biggest names in international GT racing and our local ones Stars are driven .

If you’re interested in finding out more about one of Australia’s biggest motorsport events, read below for everything you need to know about the 12 Hours of Bathurst.

The 12 Hours of Bathurst is an endurance race at the Mount Panorama Circuit in New South Wales, about three hours west of Sydney.

Since its inception in 1991, the Bathurst 12 Hours has grown into a world-class race, drawing drivers, automakers and teams from around the world to compete for glory.

While the race was initially for modified production cars, 2011 saw the addition of the flagship GT3 class – featuring ready-to-race supercars from brands like Audi, Ferrari, BMW, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz to name a few.

Teams are made up of three to four drivers who race in the cars in stints of varying lengths throughout the day, with the aim of the game being to stay on the same lap as the leader and at the front of the field in the final hours.

Seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi visits Bathurst for the first time this weekend, driving a BMW M4 GT3 (Image credit: Supercars)

In 2023, 26 cars were entered in four classes (GT3 Pro, GT3 Pro-Am, GT3 Silver and Invitational). The top two GT3 classes – Pro and Pro-Am – will be the most likely to fight for victory, with 16 cars between them.

Victory at the 2023 Bathurst 12 Hours is likely to be contested between GT3 teams contesting the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT3, Audi R8 “LMS Evo 2”, Porsche 911 GT3R and BMW M4 GT3.

Since the race switched to GT3 regulations in 2011, Audi has recorded the most wins with three (2011, 2012, 2018), followed by Mercedes-Benz (2013, 2022) and Ferrari (2014, 2017). Nissan, McLaren, Porsche and Bentley have each won once.

This year’s race features 10 former winners, three of whom have won twice – Australian icon Craig Lowndes (2014, 2017), Audi works driver Christopher Mies (2011, 2012) and defending champion Jules Gounon (2020, 2022), the only driver who made it Win consecutive races in different cars.

However, pre-race attention was focused on a rider who had never been to Mount Panorama before: seven-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi.

The man known as “The Doctor” and regarded as one of the greatest drivers in history makes his Bathurst debut as a BMW works driver this year, competing in the #46 BMW M4 GT3.

What else is going on along the route?

The Red Bull RB7 is on the verge of breaking the Bathurst lap record this weekend

Between the practice and qualifying sessions for the 12 Hours of Bathurst, two support categories and special on-track demonstrations will keep spectators entertained.

The Combined Sedans series consists of 55 cars from various national competitions, with ex-V8 supercars, sports sedans, production cars and classic touring cars competing against Mount Panorama.

This is complemented by the addition of Formula Ford, an open wheel series that has traditionally been the first step from go-karting to car racing.

It’s the first time a modern Formula One car has been at Bathurst since 2011 when 2009 champion Jenson Button piloted a 2008 McLaren around the track and set the unofficial lap record of 1 minute 48.88 seconds .

The Red Bull showcar, driven by Kiwi Formula 2 race winner Liam Lawson, is expected to challenge Button’s lap record – provided the weather stays favourable.

When and where can I watch the 12 Hours of Bathurst 2023?

In Australia, the 12 Hours of Bathurst will be shown on Fox Sports (and its streaming service Kayo) and the Seven Network (and streaming on 7Plus) from 12:30pm AEDT on Saturday 4 February.

Saturday’s schedule consists primarily of qualifying for the Bathurst 12 Hours, although both the combined sedan and Formula Ford support categories will compete briefly at 2:50pm and 3:30pm respectively.

Coverage for the Bathurst 12 Hour race begins at 5:30am AEDT on Sunday, February 5 before the race officially begins at 5:45am AEDT.

After the checkered flag was waved at approximately 5:45 p.m. AEDT, transmission will continue until 6:00 p.m. AEDT.

Saturday February 4th
begin Finished category meeting
12:45 p.m 13:10 Bathurst 12 hours Qualification – Part 1 (Q1)
13:25 1:45 p.m Bathurst 12 hours Red Bull F1 car demonstration
13:55 14:35 Bathurst 12 hours Qualification – Part 2 (Q2)
14:50 15:20 Combined limousines Race 3 – End after 10 laps or or 15:17 plus one lap
15:30 15:55 Formula Ford Race 3 – Finished a lap after 15:52
16:10 16:25 Bathurst 12 hours Top Ten Shootout Part 1 – Bottom half from earlier qualifying
16:35 4:50 p.m Bathurst 12 hours Top Ten Shootout Part 2 – Top half from earlier qualifying
17:00 17:15 Bathurst 12 hours Red Bull F1 car demonstration
Sunday February 5th
begin Finished category meeting
5:45 17:45 Bathurst 12 hours Race – Finishes a lap after 17:42
Jordan Mulach

Jordan Mulach was born in Canberra/Ngunnawal and currently resides in Brisbane/Turrbal. Jordan joined the Drive team in 2022 and has previously worked for Auto Action, MotorsportM8, The Supercars Collective and TouringCarTimes, WhichCar, Wheels, Motor and Street Machine. A self-proclaimed iRacing addict, Jordan finds himself either behind the wheel of his Octavia RS or berating his ZH Fairlane over the weekend.

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