Audi Sport has confirmed the driver line-ups for its seven LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour entries.
Six of its European factory stars feature across three of those entries, including three in the Audi Sport Team MPC R8 LMS GT3 that will contend for the German manufacturer’s fourth overall win at Mount Panorama and first since 2018.
Its sole Pro entry – run by the marque’s de facto Australian partner Melbourne Performance Centre – features Mattia Drudi, Christopher Haase and Patric Niederhauser.
Drudi has a single 12 Hour start to his credit, in 2020, while Haase will make his seventh appearance for Audi when he returns this year, having only missed the 2022 race since making his 2015 Bathurst debut.
Niederhauser, meanwhile, will be making his Bathurst bow but comes with a long track record of success in Audi’s GT programmes. Indeed, he was Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli runner-up in 2021.
Two more factory drivers – Ricardo Feller, who made his 12-Hour debut last year, and two-time race winner Christopher Mies – are teaming up with two-time Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia champion Yasser Shahin in the brand’s Bausele Pro-Am class entry.
Backed by The Bend Motorsport Park, Shahin’s local miles and the experience of Mies and Feller – who raced with Shahin in 2022 – make them a strong contender for Pro-Am honours.
The same class features double CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa winner Frederic Vervisch who partners James Golding and Bathurstian, Brad Schumacher, at Fuchs PremiAir Racing.
“For our local MPC partners, the race is a first-class sporting challenge just as it is for us,” said Head of Audi Sport customer racing, Chris Reinke.
“Already traditionally, MPC is represented at Bathurst with a strong, competitive base of customers. Audi Sport customer racing complements the privateer lineup with six Audi Sport drivers split across three race cars.”
Joining the works-supported driver entries will be Team Supabarn MPC – winner of the Am classification at Bathurst a year ago – which is back on the grid with brothers James and Theo Koundouris plus Dave Russell and Jonathan Webb, as is Hallmarc Team MPC with Marc Cini/Dean Fiore/Lee Holdsworth.
Two additional GT3 race cars from Audi for Andrew Fawcet/Daniel Gaunt/Dylan O’Keeffe (Myland Team IMS) and Liam Talbot/Fraser Ross (Team MPC) complete the line-up of a total of seven Audi R8 LMS.
The Melbourne Performance Centre is overseeing the entries with the support of Steve McLaughlan’s Jamec Racing.
Audi is the most successful manufacturer in LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour history with three GT3 era victories (2011, 2012 and 2018).
The opening round of this year’s IGTC campaign takes place on February 3-5.