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Bathurst winners partially split for Mercedes-AMG’s Kyalami 9 Hour assault

Bathurst winners partially split for Mercedes-AMG’s Kyalami 9 Hour assault

LIQUI MOLY Bathurst 12 Hour winners and Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli championship leaders Kenny Habul, Jules Gounon and Luca Stolz have been partially split for the Kyalami 9 Hour next weekend (February 23-25).

Habul and Gounon once again share SunEnergy1’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 with a still to be confirmed co-driver while Stolz moves across to the SPS automotive performance car that also features Reece Barr and Miguel Ramos. Both entries are scheduled to compete in the Pro-Am class.

Mercedes-AMG’s sole Pro entry comes courtesy of GruppeM Racing, which will once again field Maro Engel, Mikael Grenier and Raffaele Marciello. The trio finished third at Mount Panorama behind SunEnergy1 and Manthey EMA’s Porsche.

The line-ups also mean last year’s Kyalami winners – Gounon and Marciello – can both win back-to-back in South Africa, albeit in different cars.

Mercedes-AMG’s fourth and final IGTC nomination is filled by the local Stradale Motorsport entry driven by South Africans Charl Arangies, Arnold Neveling and Clint Weston.

“We were extremely successful in the 2022 Intercontinental GT Challenge season, posting three wins in four races, taking the manufacturers’ title and claiming both drivers’ championships,” said Mercedes-AMG Customer Racing boss Stefan Wendl. We would obviously like to reprise this exceptionally good result in 2023. 

“With the victory for SunEnergy1 Racing and third place for the Mercedes-AMG Team GruppeM Racing in the Bathurst 12 Hour, we have got the new season off to a highly successful start. This gives us cause for optimism going into the upcoming Kyalami 9 Hour; it’s a race that we also won the last time it was held. We wish our Customer Racing teams all good fortune in South Africa and look forward to an exciting weekend.”

Reverting to the Pro-Am class also means SunEnergy1’s Habul is eligible to score IGTC Independent Cup points for the first time this season.