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Gounon, Habul and Stolz gunning for third-straight Bathurst victory

Gounon, Habul and Stolz gunning for third-straight Bathurst victory

> SunEnergy1’s crew amongst 10 Mercedes-AMGs heading Down Under

Jules Gounon, Kenny Habul and Luca Stolz will attempt to win an unprecedented third-straight Repco Bathurst 12 Hour with SunEnergy1 on February 18.

Reigning Intercontinental GT Challenge champion Gounon plus his Australian and German co-drivers constitute one of Mercedes-AMG’s nine GT3 crews at Mount Panorama, while a tenth competes in the GT4 class.

Gounon is actually chasing a fourth consecutive victory Down Under. He scored the first with Bentley in 2020 before adding to his tally as a Mercedes-AMG factory driver.

“I had a nice winter as the reigning IGTC champion,” he said after clinching the crown at Gulf 12 Hours in December. “The title means a lot to me as it is something I worked to achieve for many years. You only reach it with consistent achievements in the world’s biggest and toughest races. 

“This year, I would like to build on this success and drive four good races. But that will certainly be more difficult as the pressure is higher when you aren’t racing as an outsider. I hope for a good week at Bathurst. It is my undisputed favourite track and I can hardly wait to get back there.”

But the odds are once again stacked against SunEnergy1’s entry, which runs in the Pro class despite Habul’s Bronze status. That was also the case last season when the same team and driver combination produced arguably the greatest feat in 12 Hour history by beating several full-factory crews.

And Mercedes-AMG isn’t short of those this year either. 

2023 pole winner Maro Engel headlines a GruppeM squad also featuring Felipe Fraga and Bathurst 1000 winner David Reynolds, while Craft-Bamboo – which finished second two years ago – calls on Maximilian Goetz, Dani Juncadella and Jayden Ojeda.

But that’s not all. There’s more Supercars talent at Scott Taylor Motorsport in the shape of Craig Lowndes, Thomas Randle and Cam Waters who go up against domestic rivals – and Triple Eight team-mates – Will Brown and Broc Feeney in a National Storage Racing entry also featuring recent Gulf 12 Hours winner Mikael Grenier.

Elsewhere, Supercars GOAT Jamie Whincup joins Prince Jefri Ibrahim and Jordan Love in the second Triple Eight-run car, which should also be a major threat for Pro-Am honours. But that trio will face stiff opposition from the likes of Heart of Racing who count AMR factory driver Ross Gunn amongst its line-up.

MMotorsport and Supabarn Supermarkets/Tigani Motorsport complete Mercedes-AMG’s GT3 roster.