KC Motorgroup Ltd. (KCMG) will start the 2020 Intercontinental GT Challenge at the Bathurst 12 Hour (31 January – 2 February), once again with a pair of Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 cars for the Australian enduro.
After scoring points in every round of last year’s IGTC season, KCMG and Nissan will continue their partnership at the famous Mount Panorama Circuit, where the Hong Kong squad led and set the fastest lap during their event debut in 2019.
Alexandre Imperatori makes his third visit to the mountain venue. The Swiss driver and Italian team-mate Edoardo Liberati are now joined in the #18 car by former Nissan Super GT racer Joao Paulo de Oliveira, who made his IGTC debut at the Kyalami finale last season having impressed during the team’s Nürburgring 24 Hours campaign.
In the sister #35 car, Katsumasa Chiyo aims to repeat his 2015 victory with Nissan. His countryman, double Super GT champion Tsugio Matsuda, and fellow team-mate Josh Burdon both showed strong pace on their Bathurst 12 Hour debuts last year. Now with extra experience under their belts, they are in a strong position for the start of the new season.
Practice starts on Friday 31 January with four sessions ahead of a final session on Saturday morning. Qualifying kicks off at 12:40 before the top 10 shootout at 17:05. Lights out for the 18th edition of the Bathurst 12 Hour is at 05:45 on Sunday morning.
Alexandre Imperatori, #18 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “I’m massively excited to head back to the mountain for another go at the Bathurst 12 Hour with KCMG. It’s the perfect way to open the season and this year’s race is shaping up to be another classic with the best competition in GT racing. It’s one of the toughest events there is but we are more prepared this time and are looking to score a podium.”
Edoardo Liberati, #18 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “I’m really looking forward to taking on the challenge of the mountain again. Starting off the season with one of the toughest and most competitive races of the year gives extra motivation to everyone at KCMG, especially as we were close to the top last season. The team is working on every detail to be 100% ready, and I’m happy to work with Alex again and welcome Joao Paolo.”
Joao Paulo de Oliveira, #18 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “I’m very happy to team up with Alex and Edo for this amazing event. It will be my first time at Bathurst and I look forward to racing on one of the most challenging circuits in the world, and in one of the most prestigious events in GT3 racing.”
Katsumasa Chiyo, #35 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “I’m always excited to be racing at Bathurst. We aim to be even stronger than we were in 2019 and hopefully stand on the podium.”
Tsugio Matsuda, #35 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “I look forward to taking part in the Bathurst 12 Hour for KCMG again. It’s one of my favourite tracks and we were fighting at the front last year. I will do my best to score a good result for the team.”
Josh Burdon, #35 Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3: “After a long Christmas break, I feel recharged and eager to get back in the car. The Bathurst 12 Hour is a great way to start the year as it’s one of the toughest races in the world. It’s a privilege to drive around this amazing circuit. I’m happy to be sharing the car again with Katsumasa and Tsugio. Together we’re aiming for the podium.”
Paul Ip, KCMG founder: “We’re very excited to be back in Intercontinental GT Challenge and the Bathurst 12 Hour with Nissan again. We had a strong race in 2019 and we’re set to improve on that foundation this year. I wish the drivers the best of luck.”