Entries are now being accepted for next season’s Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, which will once again host the opening round of Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli’s 2020 campaign on January 31 – February 2.
Race organisers have also released revised sporting and technical regulations that are designed to mirror those already used in other #IntGTC events, including the Total 24 Hours of Spa and upcoming Suzuka 10 Hours. They will provide a consistent framework of regulations for teams, drivers and manufacturers contesting all five rounds of the world’s only global GT3 championship.
All current-specification GT3 machinery homologated for the 2019 season is now eligible to compete at Mount Panorama where the likes of Porsche and Aston Martin raced their previous-generation models earlier this year.
To further bring the race into line with European rules, the maximum stint length for any driver has been limited to 65 minutes. No driver will be allowed to complete more than two consecutive stints before commencing a one-hour rest period.
Pitstops will include a mandatory minimum time, measured from pit entry to pit exit. Two ‘Joker’ stops – one in the first six hours and one in the second – will be permitted with no minimum time limit to allow for strategies to remain flexible throughout the race.
Finally, a four-minute ‘technical’ pitstop that must be completed prior to the conclusion of the race’s 11th hour will also become mandatory. This will allow for brake pad changes or more extensive work to be completed in a measured fashion.
Alterations to the event technical regulations include inclusion of driver cooling systems and in-car TV camera systems within the minimum vehicle weight, as specified by the Balance of Performance (BoP) regulations.
Driver cooling systems will be mandatory if the forecast for race day is for temperatures of above 30 degrees C.
The event will retain a four-class structure, with Class A for Intercontinental’s GT3 cars split between three divisions.
Existing Pro and Pro-Am competitions will remain, while 2020 will mark the introduction of the Class A Silver Cup for the first time.
The Silver Cup is designed for Amateur-classified drivers, with combinations to be comprised of three drivers of FIA Silver classification or four drivers, with two silver-ranked and the third and fourth Bronze-ranked.
For the first time, Class B will be for designated Lamborghini Super Trofeo machinery.
The global one-make formula features identical Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo race cars and features competition in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia with an annual world final.
Backed by Lamborghini’s official ‘Squadra Corse’ Motorsport arm, the addition of the Super Trofeo class comes following confirmation that the brand would likely contest the full Intercontinental GT Challenge in 2020.
Class C will continue to be for GT4 machinery while the Australian-built MARC Cars Australia ‘MARC II’ cars will contest the Invitational class.
Other elements, including the Pirelli Top-10 Shootout and 5:45am Sunday morning start time, remain unchanged.
Event organisers will also soon confirm the revised event schedule which will see a packed on-track program on Friday and Saturday in the lead-up to the 2020 race.
Race week will again commence with an expanded ‘Town to Track’ display on Thursday.
“Firstly, it’s always exciting to confirm that entries are open and get that first indication of who is coming to tackle the Mountain,” said Event Manager Kurt Sakzewski.
“We have been working closely with CAMS and our partners at SRO to evolve the regulations to a point where that are now very similar to the other major events on the Intercontinental GT Challenge, offering consistency to the teams, drivers and manufacturers involved across the full championship.
“The changes have already been tried and tested in major races and proven to be successful so it makes sense for us to adopt something that already works.
“We are excited to add the Super Trofeo cars to the mix in 2020. It opens the potential for even more international participation and we have been in discussion with Lamborghini for some time now – they are excited about the potential for their competitors to become involved. The Huracan Evo is a very cool car that perfectly fits the 12-Hour grid – it sounds and looks the part.
“There is already a lot of excitement among Intercontinental teams about the 2020 event and we’re very confident that it will be bigger and better than ever.”
Suzuka hosts round four of the 2019 campaign on August 23-25 before the revived Kyalami 9 Hour closes out the season on November 21-23.