Manthey EMA and Porsche win Bathurst 12 Hour

Manthey EMA and Porsche win Bathurst 12 Hour

BREAK GOUNON’S REPCO BATHURST 12 HOUR STREAK


Campbell, Guven and Vanthoor conquer the Mountain

SunEnergy1 and Wash It Team MPC complete overall podium

 

Manthey EMA trio Matt Campbell, Ayhancan Guven and Laurens Vanthoor have ended Porsche’s near-four-year Intercontinental GT Challenge victory drought by winning the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour.

 

The ‘Grello’ 911 GT3 R looked set to take a reasonably comfortable win until a late caution period moved another six cars to within striking distance. But Campbell handled the pressure to finish 2.6s clear of Jules Gounon (SunEnergy1) and Christopher Haase (Wash It Team MPC).

 

Manthey EMA’s triumph also ended Gounon’s bid for an unprecedented fourth straight 12 Hour win, as well as SunEnergy1’s third. The Mercedes-AMG he shared with Kenny Habul and Luca Stolz wasn’t in contention early on but had begun inching its way towards the front by the half-distance mark.

 

MPC, meanwhile, moved from fifth to third with seven minutes remaining when WRT’s BMW and Phantom Global’s Porsche lost momentum while fighting Gounon.

 

The result was perhaps a little unfair on Phantom’s Jaxon Evans – who set fastest lap – plus his co drivers Bastian Buus and Joel Eriksson who drove a superb race after starting 18th. 

 

Both BMWs were contenders early on. Indeed, pole-sitter Sheldon van der Linde led the opening stint. But the same WRT-run M4 didn’t make half-distance after Charles Weerts crashed spectacularly at The Cutting while attempting to pass a GT4 car.

 

The team’s sister M4 shared by Maxime Martin, Raffaele Marciello and Valentino Rossi almost secured a podium but slipped to fifth in the shake-up involving Gounon, Hasse and Evans. 


PORSCHE POWERS TO MOUNT PANORAMA VICTORY

The event’s customary start just before dawn is one of global motorsport’s great spectacles. And this year’s sunrise didn’t disappoint. However, it wasn’t until the first round of pitstops just after the opening hour that the race really came alive when WRT team-mates Rossi and Weerts went wheel to wheel over the mountain.

 

That was enough to unleash Grello – now in the hands of Guven – which took the lead and stayed there for most of the next five hours. 

 

But frequent Safety Car interruptions, most notably for Weerts’ accident at The Cutting, prevented the Porsche from pulling too far clear. Frequent heavy rain also played its part, but it was an incorrectly served drive-through penalty for a pitlane infringement and subsequent need to stop again that put Manthey EMA on the back foot.

 

That handed the advantage to an unlikely contender in the shape of Phantom, whose 911 qualified well down the order but steadily moved forward over the opening half of the race. Eriksson, Buus and Evans all played their part in the Chinese squad’s comeback drive that eclipsed that of several more seasoned performers.

 

But it was during a particularly crazy phase of the race, between the eighth and ninth hours, that Manthey EMA’s Porsche reasserted its superiority. Campbell was typically fast in all conditions, but Guven’s grunt work also played a key role in getting the 911 back towards the front.

 

Nevertheless, the team’s alternative strategy clouded its car’s true place in the pecking order until the penultimate round of stops.

 

By that stage SunEnergy1 had emerged as a true contender after the majority of Mercedes-AMG’s other fancied entries suffered issues of varying degrees and WRT’s sole remaining BMW lost time at the final corner after being forced off track.

 

Nevertheless, Martin was still one of seven drivers that could have won the race when the final Safety Car was withdrawn with 30 minutes remaining. 

 

Campbell – who’d led by 13 seconds prior to the caution – initially built a small gap back to Gounon who was visibly wringing the neck of his Mercedes-AMG in an effort to catch one Porsche while defending from another. However, his task was undoubtedly compromised by traffic through The Dipper that allowed Campbell to extend his lead to six seconds.

 

Evans’ subsequent attempt to take second resulted in him being shuffled back to fourth behind Haase who was in the right place at the right time to jump both the Porsche and Martin’s delayed BMW.

 

Haase shared the Audi – which isn’t eligible to score IGTC points – with Kelvin van der Linde and Liam Talbot. That car was there or thereabouts all day, and even led at one point before following a breakdown truck into the pitlane compromised its victory chances.

 

National Storage Racing’s Broc Feeney, Will Brown and Mick Grenier completed the top-six after a largely clean run, while Scott Taylor Motorsport’s Cameron Waters, Thomas Randle and Craig Lowndes finished seventh.

 

Manthey EMA also won the event’s Pro-Am class thanks to Alessio Picariello, Jordan King and Yasser Shahin who recovered after being spun into the McPhillamy Park gravel trap in hour four.

 

Further back, Prince Jefri Ibrahim overcame a broken splitter to score maximum Intercontinental Independent Cup points.

 

IGTC now moves on to the Nordschleife and the ADAC Ravenol 24h Nurburgring on May 30 – 2 June.

 

Click here for full results
 


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