Sparesbox Blog

The Cars of the 2016 LIQUI-MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour

By Brad Nash

Fri Jan 29 2016

Here at Sparesbox, a world without insanely beefed up GT3 cars is a world we don’t want to live in. All especially tuned and built to perform at basically the same capacity, they provide the ultimate test of driver skill by pitting every competitor on a truly even playing field. That doesn’t mean, however, that some seriously cool cars won’t be coming down under for this year’s LIQUI-MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour, and we thought that it’s only right to take you through them in an epic celebration of carbon fibre, outlandish wings and exotic names.

 

Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3

Bathurst 12 Hours Nissan GTR NISMO GT3
Image: Racerviews.com
First Entered: 2014
Bathurst 12 Hour Wins: 1 (2015)

 

Last year’s winners, reigning champions of the mountain, victors in one of the most exciting finishes ever seen on Mt. Panorama in any category, the NISMO global athlete team are back with their GT-R and will surely be looking to rack up victory number 2. With one of the world’s largest driver pools to choose from as part of their worldwide driver development program, Nissan will be fielding a team as elite as the vehicle itself: the now legendary GT-R that’s seen so much love and respect since it’s launch. With a combination of such precision engineering, incredible discipline and the talent to go with it, it’s hard to see the NISMO team beaten.

 

Audi R8 GT3 LMS

Bathurst 12 Hour Audi R8 GT3 LMS
Image: Bilstein
First Entered: 2011
Bathurst 12 Hour Wins: 2 (2011, 2012)

 

The most successful car of the Bathurst 12 Hours’ GT3 era, the R8 has seen great success at the mountain despite a relative dry spell in the last few years of racing. Under both the Phoenix Racing and Joest Racing banners, the R8 LMS won the race 2 consecutive years and fielded some of the most elite drivers to take part in the Bathurst 12 Hours up to that date, including Craig Lowndes, Warren Luff and Darryl O’Young. A true testament to German engineering, and surely a worthy contender to finally claim a hat-trick of Bathurst 12 Hour victories.

 

Ferrari 458 GT3

Bathurst 12 Hours Ferrari 458 GT3
Image: Western Advocate
First Entered: 2012
Bathurst 12 Hour Wins: 1 (2014)

 

The 458 gave Australia perhaps it’s most exotic race victory in a long time, when Craig Lowndes and John Bowe piloted it to victory in the 2014 running of the Bathurst 12 Hours. With a talented suite of new drivers and an older veteran in the form of ex-F1 driver Mika Salo, the slightly ageing 458 will be looking for a triumphant result in a race where it’s always prospered. Could this be the last year we see the 458 take to the track? Time will tell.

 

Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT3

Bathurst 12 Hour Mercedes AMG SLS GT3
Image: Motorsport.com
First Entered: 2012
Bathurst 12 Hour Wins: 1 (2013)

 

Since it’s entry into the race a few years back, the SLS has captured the hearts and minds of race fans with it’s throwback styling, powerful grunt and animalistic V8 engine. A triumph of just what AMG can do with a vehicle, the SLS GT3 will be hungry to stamp it’s already legendary status onto the asphalt at Mt. Panorama. Expect a particularly strong showing from Erebus Motorsport, who won the race in 2013 with their own SLS.

 

Bentley Continental GT3

Bathurst 12 Hour Bentley Continental GT3
Image: Motorward.com
First Entered: 2015
Bathurst 12 Hour Wins: 0

 

The Bentley Continental GT3 marked it’s debut in the Bathurst 12 hours by taking the NISMO team to their very limit in perhaps the best finish in the race’s history. After 12 hours of racing, less than 4 seconds separated the two teams and many were rooting for the debutants to take it out. With it’s retro styling, clean white livery and the fact that it’s the only truly factory-run team in this year’s field, we’re hoping they deliver the goods once more.

 

McLaren 650S GT3

Bathurst 12 Hour McLaren 650S GT3
Image: Supercar Mania
First Entered: 2016
Bathurst 12 Hour Wins: 0

 

Okay. First of all, look at it, and tell us you don’t want to see this thing take out the chequered flag. It’s insane, it’s mean, it’s probably extremely fast and it’s quickly gaining itself quite the pedigree. After an incredibly successful 2015 that saw it take out several FIA World GT Championship rounds, the McLaren 650S is arriving in Australia for the first time. This may well be the car to get McLaren its maiden victory on the mountain.

 

We’ll be live-blogging and tweeting the race on the big day, and providing all the info you need to keep you in the know leading up to this year’s race, so make sure you stay tuned to the Spares Box blog over the next couple of weeks!

 

Featured Image: Motorex